Friday 29 June 2018 / 1:26 PM Animal Welfare / Sue Hayman

Labour seeks to close loophole in Government’s Ivory Bill to protect hippopotamus, walrus and killer whale

The Ivory Bill as proposed by the Government has only a narrow focus on elephants. It ignores the poaching of hippo and other non-elephant species for their ivory.

There are organised criminal gangs involved in poaching ivory and campaigners have warned how in the past they will move from one lucrative criminal activity to another. If the elephant trade is closed to them, they may move on and find new species.

To prevent this, Labour is putting forward a key amendment to the Government’s Ivory Bill that would protect other ivory-bearing species as well as elephants, forcing the Government to bring forward these protections within a specified timeframe.

The species listed in Labour’s amendment are covered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and include the hippopotamus, walrus, narwhal, sperm whale and killer whale.

From bringing forward the Hunting Act to protecting the treatment of domestic animals under the Animal Welfare Act, Labour has always placed animal welfare high on our agenda.

Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

“While Labour are supportive of the Ivory Bill, it is vital that a narrow focus on elephants doesn’t displace the international trade in ivory on to other ivory-bearing species.

“We cannot wait until the knock-on effects are felt on these animals when we have the opportunity to do something about this now.

“Labour’s amendment would close loopholes to this cruel and destructive trade. We hope that MPs from all parties will unite behind this important amendment to improve the bill.”