Lords examines Ivory Bill

Elphant tusks
13 September 2018

The Ivory Bill concluded its committee stage, the first chance for line-by-line scrutiny, in the Lords on Wednesday, 12 September.

Members discussed proposed changes relating to a ban, including:

  • sentencing
  • resourcing enforcement
  • policing expertise
  • impact on ivory market and elephant population
  • extending it to hippopotamuses, narwhals and walruses.

New in the Lords, the list of suggested changes for debate included short statements (‘explanatory statements’) from members briefly setting out the effect of their proposed changes.

Read the quick explanations from members about their changes on these issues.

Explanatory statements are voluntary, maximum 50 words and allowed for committee stage, report stage (further check and change) and third reading (chance to ‘tidy up’) of the Ivory Bill.

Report stage, a further chance to examine the bill and make changes, is scheduled for 24 October.

Lords committee stage day one: Monday 10 September

Members discussed a range of topics, including the sale of otherwise exempted items online, the replacement of exemption certificates and the impact of the bill on the international ivory market.

Lords second reading: Tuesday 17 July

Members discussed a range of topics covered by the bill, including the bill's primary aim to curb illegal poaching and prevent the extinction of African elephants, the growth of the black market ivory trade in recent years and the identification of items that will be exempt from the proposed ban on ivory sales.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Conservative), parliamentary under-secretary in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, responded on behalf of the government.

Ivory Bill summary

This bill aims to: 

  • Prohibit commercial activities concerning ivory in the UK
  • Prohibit the import and re-export of ivory for commercial purposes, to and from the UK.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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