Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
In 2018 I sat on the Bill Committee to ban the sale of Ivory. Hunting of elephants is cruel and risks making these magnificent animals extinct.
I am a vocal supporter of our natural world and four years ago I pressed Ministers to bring in the ban on ivory sales quickly. Four years later, and Ministers have only now finally got round to implementing the ban – something Parliament agreed four years ago.
We are in a climate and nature emergency. Every day species go extinct because of the actions of humanity. We need much faster action if we are to save our precious natural world.
The Ban on the trade in ivory is welcome, but it only deals with ivory from elephants. I want to see the ban extended to other ivory bearing species including walrus, hippopotamus, sperm whale, orca and narwhal. We know that where a ban comes into force for one species, the illegal ivory trade moves to other species.
Back in 2018 hundreds and hundreds of people contacted me urging me to act. I spoke in the debates about the Ivory Bill demanding faster action.
Last summer – on World Elephant Day – I visited Noah’s Ark near Bristol to see their conservation work with elephants. I used that day to press Ministers to stop delaying and bring in the ban on the trade in ivory. Nearly 12 months later, we have finally got there. It frustrates me we have a Government that goes so slowly on such urgent matters.
But at least today, the UK now has a ban on the trade in ivory. A small but important step forward to protect these truly magnificent species.