Calls are growing for the UK to follow China¡¯s example and enact an ivory ban.[Photo: Thinkstock]
Last week, the Chinese government has pledged to effectively close the domestic ivory market by stopping all commercial ivory carving and retail sales by the end of 2017.
That decision was widely praised by activists, campaigners, and ordinary people alike.
Now, less than a week later, calls are growing for the UK to follow China¡¯s example and enact a similar ban.
The ruling Conservative party promised in their election manifestos of 2010 and 2015 to do just that - but have so far been hesitant to follow that promise with action.
That's largely due to strong lobbying by groups representing art dealers and auction houses. Many works of art and musical instruments contain ivory, and these groups claim that a total ban on ivory trade would have a devastating impact on their business.
A compromise, which would allow the trade of items made before 1947 but ban other transactions, is currently under consideration.
However, campaigners argue that it would be almost impossible to police such a rule on a practical level, as it would take a great deal of specialist knowledge and equipment to be able to verify the age of an object containing ivory.
By Rupert Reid for sino.uk