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Illegal Wildlife Trade

Volume 650: debated on Tuesday 4 December 2018

13. What steps the Government are taking with international partners to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. (907998)

We will continue to work with international partners to drive progress in tackling this terrible crime and deliver on the commitments made at October’s London conference. Some 57 countries have adopted the conference’s declaration so far.

Will my hon. Friend update the House on the progress that is being made towards the Government’s target of halving the number of elephants killed for ivory by 2024?

We are leading from the front. As my hon. Friend knows, we are bringing in an ivory ban in the UK. We have formed a high-level political coalition, the Ivory Alliance 2024, and we are urging everyone to tackle something that is extremely urgent, because the number of African elephants has declined by 30% over the past seven years.

May I ask the Minister, who will share all our concerns about this illegal wildlife trade, to redouble her efforts to get other countries involved as well as her own and to get international organisations involved? What has happened is deplorable, and the wildlife across this planet is disappearing before our eyes.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his endorsement of the work, and we truly are working very energetically and vigorously, following the incredibly important and wide-ranging conference. As I say, 1,000 people attended it, and 57 countries have signed up to the declaration. We are encouraging everyone and leading by example with our ivory ban.

Order. We are out of time, but I do not want Lewes or Stockton North to lose out. Extreme brevity is required.