Ivory Bill DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Mr Dominic GrieveMain Page: Mr Dominic Grieve (Independent) - Beaconsfield)
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That issue was also raised by the hon. Member for Blaydon (Liz Twist). My hon. Friend is a formidable local champion and I will of course meet her to discuss how the Government can look into ways to continue to keep that rich part of her community’s heritage very much alive.
Guidance will be given to help people understand the implications of this measure. We are making sure that the new regulator does their job formally to help the antique trade understand all the implications, and there will also be a public engagement exercise. My right hon. and learned Friend makes an important point, but I am sure that it will be further scrutinised in the other place as this Bill makes progress.
Let me return now to some remarks that I had previously wanted to get through, which is that we have had good debates on clause 35 both in Committee and on Report. The widening of the power to extend the definition of ivory to include that from non-CITES species will be important, for example, if the prohibition in elephant ivory increases pressure on other ivory-bearing species and continues to fuel demand, or if the continued trade in other forms of ivory provides cover for the illegal trade of elephant ivory. This could well include ivory from the unfairly maligned warthog and the extinct mammoths. This will come as some relief to my hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset (Simon Hoare), who is no longer in his place, and to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Derbyshire (Mrs Latham). The widening of the power will also include other endangered species that Members have mentioned with such concern, including hippos, narwhals, walruses, killer whales and sperm whales. As I said on Report, the Government are committed to action.
We have today announced that we intend to consult on extending the ban to include other ivory species, and we will seek to start the consultation process and to gather evidence on, or as soon as practicable after, Royal Assent. This process will ensure that if we do extend the scope of the ban, it will be robust, defensible, enforceable, and compliant with the European convention on human rights.