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[Mr Joe Benton in the Chair] — Wildlife Crime

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:23 pm on 10th October 2013.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:23 pm, 10th October 2013

I was about to go on to say that, although I cannot say exactly which Departments will be represented at the conference, in the run-up to it the Government are collaborating closely with other countries, the royal household, multilateral organisations and major NGOs to agree a way forward and to reach a consensus on the required outputs from the conference.

A number of Members have spoken in the debate. My hon. Friends the Members for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith) and for North Swindon (Justin Tomlinson) spoke passionately about the problems of the ivory trade; it is clear that there is a very strong feeling about this issue. The Chair of the Committee asked specifically what the Government’s negotiating position on this issue was when it was discussed at the convention on international trade in endangered species conference. I must be honest; being so new to the job, I will have to write to her specifically to set out the precise position that we took. However, looking at the Government’s response to the Committee’s report I know that they obviously touched on some of these issues and made it absolutely clear that we want to maintain the existing ban on raw ivory, although they also highlight that there is a slight difference with some of the antique ivories, which tend to predate 1947; indeed, they are required to predate 1947. There is a slight difference there, but I will write to her to clarify precisely the position that was taken.