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In what is, in effect, a restatement of the current UK position through its adoption of the CITES Convention (1975), the minister will tell a conference organised by Tusk, the conservation charity, that trade in ivory-based objects made after 1947 will be banned.

Post-1947 objects will no longer be able to apply for a CITES Article 10 exemption. However under the ‘special measures’ adopted by UK CITES management authorities, little post-1947 ivory is ever given Article 10 certification. 

Antique ivory objects that can be proved to pre-date 3 March 1947 can continue to be traded. ATG understands that the government will consult the antiques industry on what form such proof needs to take. 

One source told ATG that the government is “supportive of the trade in historical objects” and that it will be made clear the target is modern poaching of endangered species. 

Tusk conference

Leadsom will speak tomorrow (Thursday September 22) at Tusk conference Time for Change, hosted two days ahead of the 17th CITES Conference of the Parties in South Africa. The minister will share the platform with Prince William, a Tusk patron.

Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal, who is investigating the trade in ivory for a new documentary, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that there should be a total ban on selling ivory that cannot be verified as antique.