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I know very little about ivory but a considerable amount about conservation, and his observations are absolutely correct.

This new regulation will save absolutely no elephants at all. As window dressing and positive PR, the move may win friends around the world. However, as a contribution to the salvation of our greatest surviving land mammal, it will be utterly ineffective.

If the government was serious about wildlife conservation or if it knew anything about the subject at all, then it would be supporting the efforts of those such as the excellent band of female rangers in Zimbabwe.

It is the policing of game reserves where the difference will be made, not in the auction rooms or dealerships of Britain.

This is conservation in action.

Banning and regulating pre-1947 ivory sales in the UK is, I regret to say, utterly absurd.

The present proposals are a complete waste of effort. If Defra diverted a tiny part of its budget to programmes such as that in Zimbabwe, then our international impact could be huge.

Anthony Carter

Chairman, Oxford Index

Cuiseaux, France