We have had our Ivory Act judicial review and our legal team put together a strong factual argument – unlike what were, in my view, the distorted findings put forward by the NGOs to the members of parliament and the government.
Although Justice Jay did not find in FACT’s favour (ATG No 2417), he was sympathetic towards the claim of proportionality and has indicated that he is minded to granted permission to appeal, which under the circumstances is as much as can be expected as a good result. After all, it would have taken a brave judge to go completely against parliament.
Antiques traders and collectors alike abhor the poaching of elephants and illegal trade in modern ivory. I strongly believe that there is absolutely no serious desire for modern ivory in the UK – as was illustrated during the hearing.
We should thank the few individuals that put their good name and reputation behind the company (FACT) that took this to the High Court on our behalf. We should also thank the far too few dealers, collectors and auction houses that gave generously.
It is my understanding that there were only eight auctions houses that contributed. I would call that a miserable effort. It seems the majority of such firms and dealers that even occasionally sell pre-1947 ivory did not contribute but are all too happy to make a profit or take commissions selling these items. They seem content to sit on the fence complaining about the draconian legislation but do absolutely nothing – I now point my figure at you!
We need in the region of £60,000 to see through an appeal, so if 120 so-far-unwilling dealers and auction houses contributed £500 each, we would arrive at our goal without difficulty.
Edric van Vredenburgh