I have been glad to note the recent motion of the International Union for Conservation of Nature congress, which calls on all countries to address internal ivory trade as a matter of urgency. While I was pleased to note that the recent Conference of the Parties of the Convention of the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Johannesburg on 24 Sept-5 Oct 2016 has led to positive developments in species protection, it is disheartening that no international agreement on further restricting ivory trade was made.
The issue of ivory trade is one which I, like, many of SNP colleagues have been passionate about. Dr Paul Monaghan MP wrote an early day motion in the UK parliament earlier this year, calling on the UK Government to fulfil their pledge to ban the domestic ivory trade, which promotes and facilities the gratuitous and needless death of elephants in countries such as Tanzania and Zimbabwe in circumstances that are best described as horrific. In 2012 and 2014, my party colleagues Christine Grahame and Kenneth Gibson put forward motions in the Scottish Parliament calling for all countries around the world to introduce a complete international and domestic trade in ivory, including praise for previous CITES meetings.
The UK Government announced, on 21st September, plans for a ban on sales, including requirements that any ivory products claimed to be antique must be sold alongside proof of age, which should lead to confiscation and destruction of ivory products which may currently be on sale. Rest assured that my SNP colleagues and I will continue to scrutinise the UK Government on the implementation of this ban.