Defra’s consultation document on banning UK sales of ivory.

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With the end of December as the deadline for response, dealer bodies BADA and LAPADA, and auctioneer body SoFAA, have emailed members with online links to the consultation’s questionnaire, urging people to respond. “We’re putting a detailed brief together which will go to the membership this week,” said Marco Forgione, chief executive of BADA.

The survey, outlined in Defra’s consultation document, asks about the impact a ban would have on elephant conservation.

However, trade bodies are urging members and the wider art and antiques world – in particular collectors – to focus on the questions relating to proposed exemptions for the art market.

These include how a ban would affect antiques businesses and collectors, and whether the ban should include a ‘de minimis’ exemption.

Focus on ‘de minimis’

“Our members would regard the setting of the de minimis at a realistic level, and the ‘cultural object exemption’ being sensibly defined, as two of most important aspects of the survey,” Helen Carless, chairman of SoFAA, said.

Questions ask for ‘evidence’ to support responses.

“We suggest our members provide evidence from their own businesses as to the scope of the trade [in antique ivory] and the impact of the proposed ban,” said Rebecca Davies, chief executive of LAPADA.

“It is important the government understands that these are individual businesses that will be affected.

“Dealers and collectors should also provide the government with specific information about the types of objects that would be affected as well as the financial impact. The more detail provided, the better.”

The trade bodies themselves will respond, providing detail about the overall market, supported by relevant research.


Deadline for response is December 29, 2017

For online responses 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 ask for one by emailing

There are 27 questions in the survey but answering all is not compulsory