Ivory Bill: Lords third reading

Elphant tusks
14 November 2018

The Ivory Bill had its third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Tuesday 13 November.

No changes were suggested to the bill ahead of third reading.

Members discussed the progress of the bill at the conclusion of its Lords stages, including the sale of pre-1947 items with a low ivory content and the current elephant poaching crisis.

Following the completion of third reading, the bill will now return to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments.

Lords report stage: Wednesday 24 October

Members discussed the impact of the legislation on the sale and hire of musical instruments, the powers of civilian officers investigating breaches of the ivory ban and government reporting on exemptions to the ban.

There were also three divisions (votes) on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill.

Members considered a change to define the amount of ivory furniture or musical instruments must contain in order to be included under the proposed sales ban.

20 members were in favour of this amendment, with 323 against, and so the change was not made.

The next vote was on the removal of a provision which would have allowed registered items containing only a small amount of ivory to be exempt from the ban.

18 members voted for the removal of the provision and 249 voted against, and so the change was not made.

The final vote was on the insertion of a new clause which would allow the relevant government minister to produce guidelines for a person dealing in ivory to verify the exempted status of an item.

The guidelines would be published in the form of regulations to be laid before both Houses of Parliament.

82 members were in favour with 127 against, so this change was not made.

Third reading, chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes is scheduled for 13 November.

Explanatory Statements

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

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

Lords committee stage day two: 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. 

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

More news on: Agriculture, animals, food and rural affairs, Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Animals, Animal welfare, Lords news

Share this page