The proposed ivory ban will be debated in the House of Lords later this month when appeals will again be made to permit the trade in antiques.
Lord Carrington, a former MP for Fulham who became a member of the Lords in 2013, requested the debate amid fears that a total ban will mean “all but those items of museum quality” are destroyed.
The debate, due to take place on December 21, comes just eight days before the end of the government consultation on the proposed ivory ban on December 29.
Carrington said: “Enforcing the ban on the sale of new ivory is vital. However, we have to get a balance between stopping the sale of new ivory and preserving hundreds, and possibly thousands, of years of artistic heritage in antique worked ivory.”
He added: “Without exemptions from a blanket ban, all but those items of museum quality would be unsaleable and therefore likely eventually to be destroyed. The question is how to structure exemptions which don’t allow the poached ivory market to pass off new ivory as antique.”
Carrington – no relation of Lord Carrington, former chairman of Christie’s – has an interest in art and antiques, particularly furniture and clocks.
He is calling on the art and antiques trade to offer more information about how a solution can be agreed.
He said: “The trade has long-established experience in the rigorous vetting for prestigious fairs. It should be possible to have confidence in identifying antique, worked ivory and certifying it for sale in licensed dealers and auction houses.”
Separate to the ivory consultation, on December 18 Defra policy officials are planning a meeting with musical instrument associations and auction houses to discuss the issue of rosewood.
“The question is how to structure exemptions
The listing of new rosewood species under CITES at last year’s Conference of the Parties event has impacted the trade in guitars and other string and wind instruments, with permits now required for cross-border movement.
IVORY CONSULTATION – your opinion counts
To respond online go to: gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-uk-sales-of-ivory
You can request a paper questionnaire by writing to: International Team – Ivory Consultation, 1E Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
Or ask for one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for response is December 29, 2017