The questionnaire will be hosted on the gov.uk website and will also be sent to key art and antique associations, museums, environmental bodies, wildlife campaigners and other interested parties.
The consultation could last for up to 12 weeks. Once submissions have been made, the government will publish a summary of responses within three months.
Trade associations have been in discussion with government ahead of the consultation, though “we don’t have the final say on the content of a Government document”, said Mark Dodgson, secretary general of BADA. He added: “I would be surprised if the consultation showed a lack of understanding of the trade.”
Force of the trade
LAPADA chief executive Rebecca Davies said: “We feel confident that DEFRA understands the legitimate trade in antiques containing ivory and we are optimistic that the consultation will be balanced.
“It will require the force of the trade to respond to the consultation in numbers, and we will work with BADA, SOFAA and the other members of BAMF to ensure that the voice of the market is heard.”
SOFAA chairman Helen Carless also urged members to complete the questionnaire to get the voice of the industry heard.