The front cover of ATG No 2319.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

A cynic might, however, feel that we are all on a proverbial hiding to nothing.

However cogent, logical and elegant the arguments, however ‘right’ was our advocates’ position, we should understand that the decision being made by this government is not an environmental one, nor a moral one. Rather, it is a political one.

It is a calculation of which stance will benefit them the best. For a right-wing party that favours diminishing (if not actually destroying) ‘the state’ and the bureaucracy needed to ensure that it functions well, the idea of instigating yet a further level of civil servants (and thereby costs) to operate a registration system for antique ivory items would be anathema.

Far simpler, and cost free, simply to prohibit the material in its entirety.

The politicians proposing this will feel that they have right on their side, expecting to garner support from young, environmentally aware voters.

If responding to the ivory consultation is all there is available to us to convince these vested interests that they are wrong in seeing some strange sort of connection between antique ivory works of cultural importance and the slaughter of elephants today, then respond we must, in great numbers.

Even if your own, specific area of interest or involvement in antiques does not directly involve ivory, there is a matter of both principle and solidarity involved here.

We should all respond (online or on paper). We have barely two weeks left before the consultation closes.

Graham Gemmell


IVORY CONSULTATION your opinion counts

To respond online go to:

You can request a paper questionnaire by writing to: International Team – Ivory Consultation, 1E Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR

Or email

DEADLINE: 11.45PM, DECEMBER 29, 2017