Wildlife: Smuggling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th December 2017.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Combatting the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is a priority for the UK government. This is why we are investing £26 million globally, and working with international partners, to tackle the systemic issues driving IWT. This includes funding initiatives directly and through Defra’s IWT Challenge Fund to reduce demand, strengthen enforcement, ensure effective legal frameworks and develop sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by IWT.

The UK government is committed to taking action as part of global efforts to assure the future of elephants. That is why we are currently consulting on proposals to ban all UK sales of ivory which contribute directly or indirectly to the poaching of elephants.

Following the success of the inaugural international conference on IWT in London in 2014, and subsequent successful conferences in Kasane in 2015 and Hanoi in 2016, the UK will bring global leaders back to London in October 2018 for a fourth high-level international meeting. This meeting will ensure that IWT stays at the top of the political agenda and that all participants deliver on the commitments they have made.

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