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In any case, China has always had the tools at its disposal to stop almost all of the illegal ivory trade immediately, had it chose to do so.

It looks as though we possessors of old ivory may all pay a heavy price for their failure to do this during the past decade.

In the event of a complete ban, those holding ivory that would have been saleable before any ban should be financially compensated. This argument has been put to Defra and if repeated by responders to the consultation, may help deter lawmakers from implementing a total ban.

Gerald Davison

Author of the Handbook of Marks on Chinese Ceramics