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Ask Government to Protect Instruments Made With Ivory

Members’ responses needed to support an exemption for musical instruments.

The MU has submitted a response to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on the subject of the banning of ivory.

Whilst the MU agrees that the killing of elephants to supply the world with ivory is abhorrent, we do not believe that the ownership of, trade of or performance on musical instruments containing small amounts of ivory contribute in any way to the illegal ivory trade. Ivory use in instrument manufacture ceased in the 1980s.

The MU welcomes the Government’s proposal to have a musical instruments exemption, which will ensure musicians can continue to work and trade their instruments.

Please email DEFRA to support the MU’s submission:

I am a member of the Musicians’ Union and I endorse the consultation response submitted by my Union, the Musicians’ Union (MU), to the above consultation.

The primary point of this submission is to support the Government’s proposal for an exemption for musical instruments, as set out in the recent consultation released by DEFRA. 

I rely heavily on being able to move my instrument and its associated accessories across borders to work and, if necessary sell my instrument, either to be able to upgrade or to provide financial stability in later life.

Whilst I agree the killing of elephants to supply the world with ivory is abhorrent, I do not believe the ownership, trade of or performance on musical instruments containing small amounts of ivory contribute in any way to the illegal ivory trade. Ivory use in instrument manufacture ceased in the 1980s.

I welcome the Government’s proposal to have a musical instruments exemption, which will ensure musicians can continue to work and trade their instruments. It will also protect the UK’s cultural heritage of artistic excellence.

Yours Sincerely


Published: 04/12/2017

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