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We argued that we fail to see how destroying extraordinary, beautiful, culturally and historically important antique artefacts in any way helps keep living elephants safe.

Therefore, we do not support a total ban nor the destruction of existing antique ivory items.

Copied here is a response from Lord Carrington of Fulham.

Janet Norman-Philips and Mike Ager

Suffolk

Reply from Lord Carrington: I share your concerns about the unintended consequences of a blanket ban on ivory sales. I am sure that these could be mitigated by the incorporation of limited and properly regulated exemptions.

I led a debate in the House of Lords on the proposed ban just before the Christmas recess, on December 21.

The issues, viewed from all sides, were well covered in the debate which you can access on the House of Lords’ Hansard site, parliament.hansard.uk.

The problem is that there is considerable scepticism about the ability of the antiques trade and auction houses to identify with sufficient certainty old ivory carvings from new carvings faked to look like old.