Petition the Ivory Act registration requirement.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


May I draw your attention to a petition which was published recently - ‘Exempt bows of stringed instruments from the Ivory Act registration requirement.'


The UK Ivory bill became an Act on 20th December 2018, and as soon as it passes into law (expected late 2019) all owners of elephant ivory-tipped bows for stringed instruments will have to first register their bows and then obtain permits in order for them to be allowed to be sold outside the UK (or outside Europe if Brexit does not occur). To obtain these permissions, owners will need to provide proof, which is often difficult to obtain, that their bows were made before 1975.


The music community fully supports measures to tackle the illegal trade in ivory and the poaching of elephants. It is well known, however, that bows are no longer made using elephant ivory and are not connected to elephant ivory trafficking. The time and expense involved for those in the music professions as well as the authorities will be huge and quite burdensome, without providing any countervailing conservation benefit. These resources would be far better spent on tackling the true sources of poaching and trafficking. It should be noted that replacing the original ivory tips damages and devalues the bows, and the only other material with the right structural properties is mammoth ivory, which is itself likely to be added to the ban. For all the above reasons, the petition seeks to exempt bows from permitting requirements.


If you would be willing to take a moment to sign the petition it would much appreciated by all, especially by the many musicians and makers who depend on bows for their livelihoods. When 10,000 signatures have been obtained, government will respond to this petition and with 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in Parliament. Please feel free to forward this email to family, friends and colleagues, and to use your social media accounts to help publicise this petition. Thank you very much for taking the time to help this important effort.

Details of the Ivory Bill itself can be found here:

Yours sincerely, 

The British Violin Making Association

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