Britain has been fingered as the biggest ivory trader in Europe, and has the ninth largest ivory trade in the world. The Independent reports on a study done by Care for the Wild and Save the Elephants, which found more than 8,300 ivory items on sale in Britain in less than a month. About 200 items were believed to come from illegal sources, including recently poached elephants.
Items on sale ranged in price from £5 to £500,000. Ivory expert Dr Esmond Martin says, “The regulations in Britain are the worst in Europe and that is of some concern because there is such a large market here.”
He added, “The majority of the products we found were technically illegal.” The same study was carried out in other European countries, with 1,303 items found in France, 621 in Spain and 461 in Italy. The British government has said it will study Martin’s findings carefully.