East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has hailed the Ivory Bill as Britain demonstrating global leadership in dismantling the ivory trade which leads to thousands of African elephants being illegally slaughtered every year.

Sir Greg supported the Bill in the House of Commons, which was approved without dissent. This follows many years of pressure from Sir Greg and other politicians urging the Government to introduce a Bill to toughen up the current ban which is only partial and has easily exploited loopholes.

The new Bill introduces the toughest rules in Europe and amongst the toughest in the world by enacting a total ban on sale of ivory in the UK and the import and export of ivory for commercial use. Once the Bill becomes law the ban will cover ivory items of all ages – not just those produced after a certain date.

Sir Greg said: “It is a source of international shame that since 2006, the total number of elephants in Africa has decreased by approximately 20%, primarily due to poaching.

“British leadership in this area is the first step to closing legal ivory markets, reducing the price of ivory and removing the incentive to poach”.

The Bill provides certain narrowly-defined and carefully-targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants and will not affect current ownership of ivory or those who inherit, donate or bequeath them.

Sir Greg with Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate campaigning for an ivory ban in 2017