A number of constituents have been in touch on the subject of Ivory Trade.

I too am seriously concerned about the effect of illegal poaching and ivory trafficking on the long-term prospects for the survival of the elephant. Just how seriously the Government takes this issue was demonstrated when it hosted and led the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking.

Over 40 countries adopted the London Declaration in an effort to save iconic species, including elephants, from being poached to the brink of extinction. The Buckingham Palace Declaration followed up on this work with a range of commitments to help the private sector tackle this illegal trade, and the UK has also made available £9.8 million for various projects through the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.

The UK does not permit trade in raw ivory tusks of any age, and is pressing for this approach to be taken internationally. The Government has also announced plans to ban sales of modern-day ivory, which will put the UK's rules on ivory sales among the toughest in the world.  The government will consult on plans for the ban early next year, seeking views from conservationists, traders and other relevant parties to ensure clear rules and guidance for those operating within the law, while cracking down on illegal sales.

In addition to the issues in Africa, Ministers also recognise the growing threats to the Asian elephant from the illegal trade in live animals, fed by demand from the tourist and entertainment industries. The UK has been working through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to increase protections, and in 2014 secured agreement for elephant range states to put in place measures to prevent this illegal trade.