Born Free star Virginia McKenna has accused BBC programme The Antiques Roadshow of being ‘out of touch’, and is imploring the long-running series to stop featuring items made from antique ivory.
The actress-turned-wildlife campaigner has said that people who argue that antique ivory doesn’t fuel the trade in the modern age are ‘fooling themselves’. She’s now urging Antiques Roadshow executives to consider a blanket ban on ivory items.
A spokesman for the show has said they are ‘currently reviewing’ the way they approach ivory antiques.
Writing in the Radio Times, Virginia said: “It is our responsibility to ensure that we do nothing to make matters worse and I urge Antiques Roadshow to consider the implications of their policy [and] to look at the bigger picture…The era of ivory is over.”
It’s not the first time that concerns about animal welfare have been raised around the show. Back in 2014 the makers of the programme suggested they would change their policy around ivory after a goblet made from it was valued between a whopping £5,000 and £8,000! Presenter Fiona Bruce said there had been concern from viewers after the coverage.
Existing legislation means that any carved ivory items made before March 3 1947 can still be sold in the UK, although ‘raw’ ivory of any age is banned. But campaigners are hoping that the government might change its mind about old, carved or worked ivory as well.
- READ MORE: Does destroying ivory help elephants?
And it’s not just the Born Free Foundation’s Virginia McKenna bringing awareness to the cause – William, the Duke of Cambridge, has been a strong anti-ivory advocate for years. He’s previously stated that our government needs to ‘send a clear signal that trading in ivory is abhorrent.’
Campaigners aren’t necessarily calling for ivory items to be destroyed, or for a ban on ownership, but want an end to buying and selling ivory products.
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