The new environment minister was asked on BBC's Radio 5 Live by presenter Nicky Campbell whether he would “consider reconsidering” a pledge for a total ivory ban and Gove answered “yes”.
Campbell explained: “In the last two Conservative manifestos, there was a pledge to move toward a total ivory ban. Thirty one African countries have asked for us to do this. Theresa May dropped it.”
The 2017 Tory manifesto made no reference to ivory.
Gove, the former education minister, replaced Andrea Leadsom MP as environment minister in charge of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on Sunday June 11 after a reshuffle.
Defra is the government department expected to launch a consultation on the ivory trade this year. However, ahead of the election, it was postponed.
Leadsom, who as environment minister promised the consultation on what proof of ivory’s age the government would require, is now Leader of the Commons.
The art and antiques trade associations have vowed to work with Gove on issues effecting the industry.