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Ivory bill becomes UK law
Approximately 20,000 elephants are poached every year for ivory.
New bill bans the commercial use of ivory in the UK

A ban on ivory sales has become UK law in the Ivory Act 2018. It is predicted to come into force in late 2019.

Introduced in May 2018, the bill has passed parliamentary processes with support across the house.

Approximately 20,000 elephants are poached every year for ivory and the elephant population has dropped by nearly a third in the last 10 years.

Wildlife charity Born Free has welcomed the bill and calls it “a vindication of Born Free’s long-standing assertion that only by banning the trade in ivory can we hope to bring an end to the poaching of elephants, who are being slaughtered on an industrial scale to provide the market with tokens and trinkets”.

The Act will:
  • submit a total ban on dealing in ivory, irrespective of its age, within the UK. This will include imports and exports to and from the UK
  • introduce a new compliance system in which current owners of ivory can continue to trade in exempt items. Such allowances include musical instruments made before 1975 with an ivory content of less than 20%, and sales to accredited museums.
  • implement tough new penalties for anyone found guilty of disobeying the law.

Environment secretary, Michael Gove, commented:

“It is an extraordinary achievement to have passed this Act of Parliament. The Ivory Act is a landmark in our fight to protect wildlife and the environment. The speed of its passage through Parliament shows the strength of feeling on all sides of the House on this critical issue.”

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”