The Environment Secretary has proposed a ban on ivory sales to help bring an end to the poaching of elephants.
The proposals will protect elephants and help combat poaching by removing opportunities for criminals to trade illegally-poached ivory.
The plans will be subject to a 12-week consultation and cover items of all ages, not only those created after a certain date.
The number of elephants has declined by almost a third in the last decade and around 20,000 a year are still being slaughtered due to the global demand for ivory.
If current rates of poaching continue, elephants could become extinct within decades in some African countries, meaning that future generations of children may only see these majestic creatures alive in zoos.
Tens of thousands of elephants are being killed every year for their ivory tusks.
The ivory is often carved into ornaments and jewellery.
The ban on international trade was introduced in 1989 by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) after years of unprecedented poaching. In the 1980s, an estimated 100,000 elephants were being killed per year and up to 80 per cent of herds were lost in some regions.
Sadly, the ban didn’t stop many from continuing to poach.
So I thoroughly welcome this proposed soft ban on ivory sales which many people have been increasingly calling for and represents good progress for the Elephant Protection Initiative, which the government helped launch at the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in 2014.