A highly anticipated UK ivory ban was confirmed Tuesday by Britain's Environment Secretary.
Described as 'one of the world’s toughest', the ban was introduced to protect elephants, and reduce illegal trade.
The ban will cover almost all items, with very few exemptions, and violators will face up to five years in prison.
Items exempt from the ban include antiques containing less 10 percent ivory, certain old instruments, and few other ultra-rare antiques and artifacts.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: "The ban will demonstrate our belief that the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the past."
WWF Chief Executive Tanya Steele said: "This ban makes the UK a global leader in tackling this bloody trade, and it’s something WWF has been fighting hard for."
Activists hope the strict ban will inspire other countries to follow suit - with John Stephenson, CEO of Stop Ivory, explaining that 'when the buying stops, the killing will stop'.
Steele said: "We hope the UK will continue to press countries where the biggest ivory markets are, most of which are in Asia, to shut down their trade too."
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Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.
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