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The import, export and dealing of ivory items of all ages – not just those made after a certain date – is illegal. Anyone convicted of breaching the ban faces unlimited fines or up to five years in jail.
It will be against the law to deal in items containing or made of ivory – from the animals’ tusks or teeth – under the Ivory Act 2018, unless registered or certified as exempt.
By covering items of all ages and adopting narrow exemptions, the ban will be one of world’s toughest. It was delayed by unsuccessful legal challenges.
Animal welfare minister Lord Goldsmith said it “represents a landmark moment” in securing the survival of the world’s elephants”.
Some 20,000 elephants are killed every year due to the global demand for ivory.
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