I have been pleased to note the recent motion of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Congress, which calls on all countries to address their internal ivory trade as a matter of urgency. 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 has led to positive developments in species protection, including a resolution to phase out domestic ivory markets. I hope to see the UK Government fulfil their manifesto commitment of “a total ban on ivory sales” without delay.
A number of my SNP colleagues have taken a keen interest in this issue. 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 SNP colleagues in the Scottish Parliament, Christine Grahame MSP and Kenneth Gibson MSP put forward motions in the Scottish Parliament calling for all countries around the world to introduce a complete ban on the international and domestic trade in ivory.
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.