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Sanctuary
Sanctuary
4645 posts

Ivory Trade Ban
May 30, 2017, 22:08
For those who doubted the governments word with regard to banning the trade in Ivory because it was not in their 2017 manifesto, read this reply to me from the Conservative candidate for my area, Scott Mann. Makes perfect sense to me as it should to any reasonable person and not one out to cause trouble.

I've done my bit now so will move on...

Scott Mann

Today at 21:48

To roy goutte


Message body

Dear Roy,

Thank you for your email.

Although the 2017 manifesto does not explicitly repeat the 2015 pledge of banning all sales of ivory, this does not mean that a Conservative Government will stop its hard and important work in protecting elephants.

If a total ban were to be implemented, then this would stop the sale of items that contain ivory which are very old, such as antiques. Blocking the sale of such items would not necessarily have any effect on protecting elephants, and all efforts must be put into stopping the sale of new ivory which has been taken from elephants.

The 2017 manifesto therefore states that a Conservative Government would help and work with international organisations to protect the marine environment and endangered species around the world.

There is a global effort to clamp down on the ivory trade and protect elephants in Africa. The UK Government is committed to tackling the crisis facing the African elephant from poaching and illegal trafficking.

The Government has already allocated an additional £13 million to tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWF) through a number of new initiatives to reduce demand, strengthen enforcement and develop sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by IWT.

This is likely to include expanded British Military training for African park rangers; additional funding for Interpol to expand its work with key nations, tracking and intercepting illegal shipments of ivory, rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products; and up to £4million for the International Consortium for Combatting Wildlife Crime.

China has the biggest ivory market in the world, and I like many was delighted to hear that the Chinese Government intends to implement a ban on all ivory trade activities by the end of this year.

This will significantly hinder the operations of poachers and sellers, and I really hope this global effort - which includes the UK - will secure the future of elephants in Africa.

Kind regards,
Oll an gwella


Scott Mann
Conservative Candidate for North Cornwall



T: 01208 74337 | E: scott@scottmann.org.uk


www.scottmann.org.uk | www.facebook.com/therightmannfornorthcornwall | Twitter: @scottmannmp
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
5850 posts

Ivory Trade - no total ban
May 30, 2017, 22:17
So he's just acknowledged that they won't be implementing a total ban then, just as we all said.

"If a total ban were to be implemented, then this would stop the sale of items that contain ivory which are very old, such as antiques. Blocking the sale of such items would not necessarily have any effect on protecting elephants, and all efforts must be put into stopping the sale of new ivory which has been taken from elephants."

By coincidence, I got a reply from my Tory candidate today too. He also made it clear (without actually answering the straight question, obviously) that they would only pursue a ban on sales of "modern-day" ivory.

"Like you, I am very concerned about the effect of illegal poaching and ivory trafficking on the long-term prospects for the survival of the elephant. UK law does not permit trade in raw ivory tusks of any age, and Ministers are 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."
grufty jim
grufty jim
1940 posts

Re: Ivory Trade - no total ban
May 30, 2017, 23:18
Hi. It's been a couple of years since I've posted here, but a friend of mine who still hangs out here occasionally alerted me to this thread (knowing it's something I've had an interest in). Anyway, just some thoughts on the reasons why a total ivory sale ban is the only genuine policy to pursue if you're serious about preventing elephant poaching. And anyone who says different either doesn't know the facts, or is lying.

According to one conservation group:

"The plain fact is that the UK's ivory market provides an environment in which an illegal ivory market can hide and flourish. By allowing the sale of legal ivory products, the UK’s market is used by criminals to launder illegal ivory. In addition, much of the UK’s ivory is exported to East Asian markets in Hong Kong and China, fuelling consumer demand for ivory and therefore the poaching of elephants."
- Tusk

Not a fan of loony, tree-hugging activist groups? There's a fairly well-respected media outlet that has this to say:

"Research and investigations, including a 2002 report from the Humane Society of the United States, show that large amounts of ivory, labeled as antique, continued to enter the U.S. At least some of that ivory was from post-ban times—and likely from poached elephants."
- National Geographic magazine

Although US-specific, I think it would be naive to assume the same loopholes aren't being exploited anywhere without a total ban.

In fact, this is made quite clear by another charity (one with Prince William as its primary patron no less... doesn't mean much to me, but I'd have thought the tories might consider it a badge of respectability):

"At present a legal ivory trade exists in the UK, one of the largest markets for ivory in Europe. Significant amounts of ivory are also sold through online marketplaces in the UK. The existence of a legal trade serves as a cover for illegal sales of ivory, while perpetuating the cycle of supply and demand. A recent study, ‘The Ivory Project’, produced by Caroline Cox at the University of Portsmouth for the House of Commons, stated that the UK is the third largest supplier of illegal ivory items into the US."
- Action for Elephants UK

Third largest supplier of illegal ivory. That can only happen if there's a so-called "legitimate" trade to hide in.

Even eBay -- as naked an example of pure commerce as you can imagine --
implemented a ban on antique ivory sales. They point out in very dry legalese that there's just no easy way to prevent illegal stuff being sold under the guise of "antique":

"In reviewing this issue, eBay has consulted with a number of organizations, including World Wildlife Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of the United States, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The team concluded that we simply can’t ensure that ivory listed for sale on eBay is in compliance with the complex regulations that govern its sale. So, to protect our buyers and sellers, as well as animals in danger of extinction, eBay has decided to institute a global ban on the sale of all types of ivory."
- eBay (2009)

So there you have an activist group, a charity, a generally well-researched news outlet and a commercial organisation all stating the patently obvious; namely that if you have a legal ivory trade, it's clearly going to provide a better environment to fence poached ivory than if you ban it outright.

If -- having learnt the facts -- you claim you are in favour of a legal ivory trade, and also in favour of protecting elephants, then you are lying on at least one of those counts. It's just common sense. The former makes the latter much more difficult. And with a species like this... most compassionate people would seek to minimise the risks; even if it means a niche marketplace gets closed down.

All ivory trading harms elephants. It's supported by all the research. And it's accepted as legal fact by commercial organisations who would otherwise profit from the trade.

Claims to the contrary for party political reasons are frankly shameful.
Sanctuary
Sanctuary
4645 posts

Re: Ivory Trade - no total ban
May 30, 2017, 23:24
thesweetcheat wrote:
So he's just acknowledged that they won't be implementing a total ban then, just as we all said.

"If a total ban were to be implemented, then this would stop the sale of items that contain ivory which are very old, such as antiques. Blocking the sale of such items would not necessarily have any effect on protecting elephants, and all efforts must be put into stopping the sale of new ivory which has been taken from elephants."

By coincidence, I got a reply from my Tory candidate today too. He also made it clear (without actually answering the straight question, obviously) that they would only pursue a ban on sales of "modern-day" ivory.

"Like you, I am very concerned about the effect of illegal poaching and ivory trafficking on the long-term prospects for the survival of the elephant. UK law does not permit trade in raw ivory tusks of any age, and Ministers are 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."


Don't try and wangle out of what you were really meaning. No new Ivory means the protection of elephants by our government. It is a straight ban on it. Too late for those sadly gone so pointless argument there. Go and find another way of knocking the government to feed you obsession with.

I've done with you and your supporters.

I give up on you
grufty jim
grufty jim
1940 posts

Re: Ivory Trade - no total ban
May 30, 2017, 23:26
Sanctuary wrote:
Don't try and wangle out of what you were really meaning. No new Ivory means the protection of elephants by our government. It is a straight ban on it. Too late for those sadly gone so pointless argument there. Go and find another way of knocking the government to feed you obsession with.

I've done with you and your supporters.

I give up on you


No new Ivory means the protection of elephants by our government.

Except it doesn't. And nobody who spends 15 minutes researching the issue would say that.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
5850 posts

Re: Ivory Trade - no total ban
May 30, 2017, 23:43
The discussion in the previous thread was about whether the Conservatives were still committed to a total ban on ivory sales, as the 2015 manifesto pledged.

I and others pointed out that the 2017 manifesto does not commit to a total ban. You and I both have now had replies from Tory candidates confirming that they are only pursuing the banning sales of modern ivory. This is clearly not a total ban. There's no attempt to get out of anything, this is exactly the same point that Nigel, Rhiannon and others made in the other thread. The replies confirm the position that I and others took, that the 2015 pledge has been dropped. Grufty Jim has also explained (again) why allowing sales of supposedly antique ivory is being exploited, so saying that you can't bring back dead elephants is completely missing the point.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1940 posts

Re: Ivory Trade - no total ban
May 30, 2017, 23:43
Just a quick follow-up. I cited four organisations in that post. I could have cited two dozen others. (You might be able to tell this is something of a well-rehearsed rant of mine :) ).

So if those guys aren't enough juice for you; I can give you similar sentiments from the WWF, the United Nations, damn near every university with a zoology department worth its salt, about a dozen large corporations who might conceivably profit from the trade, and every conservationist group working in the area.

All ivory trading harms elephants. It's just a fact.

And if you want to claim otherwise, then you'll need more than a policy position from a political party (any political party) to convince me. The UK tory party does not know more about elephant conservation than all of the groups who disagree with their position.

Claiming otherwise is a bizarre political choice.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1940 posts

Edited May 31, 2017, 00:27
Re: Ivory Trade - no total ban (slight return)
May 31, 2017, 00:15
I'm really really sorry. I promised myself I wasn't going to do this, but this makes me bloody furious.

To the list of organisations who openly acknowledged that the antique ivory trade harmed elephants, I'd like to add the UK Conservative Party, circa 8 weeks ago. Because up until then they were totally in agreement with the incontrovertible fact -- supported by every shred of unbiased evidence -- that banning antique ivory sales would be a vital step (albeit one among many) towards preserving this remarkable species for a little bit longer.

Banning the trade completely will save the lives of elephants. For the tories to deny this, they need to explain what new evidence they've received to change their minds since they stated it as fact. Were they lying then? Are they lying now? Or has some new evidence come to light?

If it's the new evidence, why aren't they sharing it with anyone? The alternative is that they shifted their position about a fact based on political ideology. 8 weeks ago the UK tory party believed that the antique ivory trade harmed elephants. Now they don't.

I'll be honest, those letters from tory MPs you guys posted are fecking terrifying to me. The ease with which facts are subordinate to party diktat; and the seeming willingness of so many people to buy into it because they wear the team colours; it's terribly dangerous.

I'm in the tail-end of my 40s now. If I live an average lifespan there will probably be elephants in the wild when I die. But -- if many predictions are correct... if I live just a few years longer, I will see the extinction of this species. And that shames us all. That's beyond party politics. It's beyond modernity, civilisation... it's fucking profane is what it is. It is a vicious blow struck against whatever it is that is Sacred about our planet's biosphere.

As I read those letters from Tory MPs about their continued commitment to conservation despite their unwillingness to commit to an actual practical step in that direction, I was reminded of a line from Blake (oft-quoted by Gregory Bateson)... He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: general Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer...

That plea to the general good while assiduously avoiding the actual particulars of being good? Oh man, it's hardly just the tories... but they are really good at it.







(edited for spelling)
nigelswift
7400 posts

Re: Ivory Trade - no total ban (slight return)
May 31, 2017, 04:38
Bravo to everything you said!

I'd just add that I agree with your last sentiment, the Tories are REALLY good at painting what's good for their friends as good for everyone. It's a tactic that runs through the whole of their environmental agenda and beyond. And of course, for Tories read selfish people elsewhere.
nigelswift
7400 posts

Edited May 31, 2017, 05:33
Pitiful
May 31, 2017, 04:57
So you ignore Grufty Jim's comprehensive explanation and simply repeat what has to be a wicked mantra: "No new Ivory means the protection of elephants by our government".

And now you "give up" on us all! OK, off you trot. But I bet you can't find anyone in your Cornish village that will say the Tories are protecting elephants. (Whatever their political views they're not that dishonest.)
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