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Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the decision to make available to China stockpiled ivory for onward sale; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of this decision on elephant populations. (226487)

At the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in July, the UK voted to approve China as a trading partner in the one-off sale of legal ivory held by four southern African nations. The UK and Bulgaria reflected the combined EU position, which was reached based on evidence that China had fulfilled the strict conditions for trading partner status as laid down in the Annotations to the CITES Appendices and agreed by CITES Parties.

The UK is supporting two programmes (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) and the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS)) which will monitor the effect of the sale on illegal poaching and trade, and is represented on the Steering Group monitoring their work.