Prince William has always held wildlife conservation close to his heart and has spoken out about the ivory trade in the past, but unfortunately, it seems his work may be for nought.
A UK law states that sales on ivory products made after 1947 are banned and that historical artefacts with ivory are still able to be sold.
But a study done by Dr Caroline Cox of Portsmouth University School of Law for the Ivory Project found that “Whilst none of the interviewees admitted to selling post-1947 ivory many of them stated that they either know of dealers or auctioneers who would sell post-1947 ivory, or that they had witnessed illegal ivory being sold in the UK.”
“The ivory trade in the UK therefore depends on goodwill rather than the proper enforcement of the law.”
The Ivory Report concludes with the note that the laws surrounding the ivory trade need to be more closely examined and revised.
“This is required to both protect sellers of genuine antique ivory and to effectively police and enforce the regulations against sellers of post-1947 ivory items.”
Prince William has been vocal in the past on the subject of the ivory trade and has urged the government to look at the issue.
“We need governments to send a clear signal that trading in ivory is abhorrent,” the Prince said at the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade last November.
Prince William also spoke out on the ivory trade last September at a Time For Change event hosted by Tusk, one of his patronages.
“We have the chance to say that ivory is a symbol of destruction, not of luxury, and not something that anyone needs to buy or sell.”
Tusk’s chief executive, Charlie Mayhew, spoke about the Ivory Report, saying, “As long as the government allows the British ivory market to flourish in its current form – with modern ivory passed off as old – there will be a direct link from sale rooms and stall-holders to African savanna, with the market encouraged by traders leading to the killing of even more elephants.”