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Auction houses sell valuable elephant ivory days before ban takes effect

Exclusive: Dealers pocketed at least £800,000 last month as owners rushed to offload trinkets: ‘The pieces are hideous,’ says conservationist

Jane Dalton
Monday 06 June 2022 16:36 BST
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Sales of ivory have shown an upward trend since the start of this year
Sales of ivory have shown an upward trend since the start of this year (the-saleroom.com)

Auction houses sold ivory goods for thousands of pounds just days before a ban on selling such items was set to take effect, analysis shows.

Under the new law, which comes into force today (Monday), anyone buying or selling items made from the tusks of endangered elephants can be given an unlimited fine or jailed for up to five years.

But in the final two weeks of last month, dozens of dealers staged sales of ivory – making an estimated £85,000 profit.

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