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He suggests that the banning of ivory will cause the price to fall and trading in ivory to cease.

Currently class A drugs are banned, but I believe they remain quite popular and the price appears to be holding up very well.

The markets for antique and modern ivory are totally separate and the banning of antique ivory may well prevent its sale as those who buy sell and collect these objects are law-abiding people who abhor poaching as much as anybody.

Modern ivory, on the other hand, is already banned. But banning something does not deter criminals, rather it incentivises them. The price of poached ivory will rise and more elephants will be slaughtered.

I would also take issue with Mr Milligan’s view that “dealers will get used to this”. I suggest Mr Milligan puts himself in the shoes of a dealer who has been dealing legally for 30 or more years in Japanese or Indian applied art.

Such dealers are now facing bankruptcy and ruin for the sake of a piece of populist legislation that can never succeed in the aims claimed to justify it.

Michael Cohen

Chairman, BADA


BADA chairman Michael Cohen.

Read Michael Cohen’s views on the legal challenge by trade bodies to the ivory ban bill