Ban on elephant ivory could be extended to other animals

A ban on elephant ivory could soon be extended to walruses, hippos and killer whales under UK Government proposals.

The Ivory Act comprises a near-total ban on the import, export and dealing of items containing elephant ivory.

But hippos, killer whales and sperm whales are also hunted for ivory in their teeth, as are narwhals and walruses for their tusks.

There are just 130,000 hippos left in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

It is thought that only 75,000 narwhals are in the wild. Their tusks can grow to 10ft.

International environment minister Lord Goldsmith, starting a consultation on the proposals, said: ‘The Ivory Act is one of the toughest bans of its kind in the world. 

'However the ivory trade is a conservation threat for other magnificent species such as the hippo, narwhal and walrus that are at threat.

‘I urge everyone to share their views to help ensure we can protect more animals from the grim ivory trade.’