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Ivory: Trade

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th June 2007.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will urge that Japan's status as a trading partner for ivory stockpiles be rescinded at the Standing Committee meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in June; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs)

The CITES Secretariat has carried out several visits to Japan to ascertain its suitability as a recipient of stockpiled ivory to ensure that adequate controls are in place to avoid the ivory being re-exported.

At the 54th Standing Committee meeting in October 2006, the Secretariat considered that Japan fulfilled the conditions to become a trading partner. However, based on concerns felt by several countries, including the UK, it was agreed that the CITES Secretariat would provide an update on the measures Japan has and is putting in place. This will be reviewed at the 55th Committee meeting immediately prior to the Conference of the Parties in June.

The UK will consider that update carefully, and will only support trading nation status if we are sure that the necessary conditions have and continue to be met.

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