Amatess

Important Petition for Bows & the UK Ivory Act - please sign!

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Exempt Bows of Stringed Instruments from the Ivory Act Registration Requirement

In December 2018 the UK parliament passed the Ivory Act.

Musicians, music shops and auction houses are going to be severely affected by a new requirement to register bows of stringed instruments under the Ivory Act. The practicalities of doing so, along with the cost will make it very difficult – and in some cases impossible - to buy and sell antique bows. 

Over the last few months, behind the scenes quite a few people in our field have been lobbying the UK government to try to get exemption for ivory head plates on bows. We even managed to get an amendment in the bill but frustratingly it was not passed. So it is time to bring this very important issue to a wider audience. We will continue to fight the corner as robustly as we can, but in the meantime if you are a British resident, please, please, please sign (and share!) the petition - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237247

Whilst the ethics of this Act cannot be faulted, the practical application can. The only outcome of having to register, and pay a fee for such a small fragment of antique ivory, will be unnecessary damage and devaluation of bows.

Please sign. The petition is a really important element of a bigger lobbying plan and your support is invaluable - we will only have one more chance to get this law changed and we are going to need as much support as possible. Thank you very much.

Additional Information

Thankfully there is some good news in the shape of a musical instrument exemption.

Section 8 - Pre-1975 musical instruments

An item that has ivory in it is exempt from the prohibition if—

(a) the item is a pre-1975 musical instrument

(b) the volume of ivory in the instrument is less than 20% of the total volume of the material of which the instrument is made

(c) the instrument is registered under section 10.

In this section “musical instrument”—

(a) does not include anything that, although capable of being played as a musical instrument, was not made primarily for that purpose;

(b) includes a bow, plectrum or other thing made for playing a musical instrument.

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Yes you can! Thank you very much for your support.

There is a tick box on the petition page which says 'I am a British citizen or UK resident'.

Even more worryingly, there are rumblings that mammoth could be added to the CITES list. 

A proposal to do so is being discussed at this year's CITES conference in May hence the importance in doing all we can to get the law changed now. In one way or another it will affect everybody who sells bows.

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On 1/23/2019 at 8:01 PM, Amatess said:

Musicians, music shops and auction houses are going to be severely affected by a new requirement to register bows of stringed instruments under the Ivory Act. The practicalities of doing so, along with the cost will make it very difficult – and in some cases impossible - to buy and sell antique bows.

In other words, violin bows with ivory parts can be legally traded as long as they were made before 1975 and are registered. Is that right?

Do you have any idea how much registration will cost?

Andrew

 

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Yes, and:

(b) the volume of ivory in the instrument is less than 20% of the total volume of the material of which the instrument is made.

Another thing to be mindful of is, this is separate legislation from CITES so all the usual CITES regulations will still apply. 

We've asked the question but Defra is not saying how much the registration will be. This may be because they don't yet know the costs of the new computer system which will manage the registrations. We do know it will be based on a cost recovery process. 

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1 hour ago, Amatess said:

Yes, and:

(b) the volume of ivory in the instrument is less than 20% of the total volume of the material of which the instrument is made.

Indeed. I didn’t bother mentioning that because for a violin bow it would be, wouldn’t it?

 

1 hour ago, Amatess said:

We've asked the question but Defra is not saying how much the registration will be.

 So if it turns out to be fairly inexpensive, what’s the problem?

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4 hours ago, rudall said:

In other words, violin bows with ivory parts can be legally traded as long as they were made before 1975 and are registered. Is that right?

Do you have any idea how much registration will cost?

Andrew

 

This has been the case for a while - anything demonstrably pre-1975 with an ivory frog can be sold with a CITES certificate, obtainable at cost (and a hell of a lot of paperwork).

What's different is that now everyone selling or travelling abroad with any bow with an ivory (or suspected ivory) face plate will have to have registration papers.

Personally I can't see how some Quango is going to cope with the resulting registration applications.

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Good morning rudall,

Thanks for your comment. It's a fair point. Those in the trade who sell very few bows won't see any difference day to day I suspect, but those selling bows as their primary income or in volume are going to be very severely affected, as are many musicians. I have no idea whether all this work will result in bows being exempt but it's worth a try.

There are many more questions we need the answers to - costs (the government are going to have to cover a considerable increase in resources, see Martin's point above), will a bundle of bows count as one group registration or will the bows be treated individually, is the Defra computer system going to be joined up with CITES should bows be sent out of the UK, if so, are the costs combined? All of this I hope will become clearer over the next few months.

Petition update - 118 signatures. 

For those of you who would like to sign, the process is to complete the form, confirm your email at which point an email will be sent (if you don't see it please check your spam inbox). It's only when you click on the confirmation email that you'll register your wish to support the petition.

 

 

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this make ivory-faced bows made after 1975 effectively unsaleable? Won't this remove the entire output of many outstanding modern bow makers who used ivory head plates from the market - unless they are systematically re-faced? This being the case, I'm surprised that there is not more widespread, visible concern about this Act's implications.

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And at the present time the auction houses are still full of ivory articles on sale (only have to look at saleroom,etc..) without any mention of needing documentation ,highly confusing if this was supposed to have came into effect in December just gone.

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tradfiddle, you are absolutely correct.

Musical instruments and bows made after 1975 with ivory will become illegal. This means the frogs of bows too, not just the tips. The Act is about commercial trading so it is possible to gift ivory items - as a result they become commercially worthless.

During the time we've been petitioning about bows, in no way did we want to jeopardise the exemptions already in place for musical instruments. Our point with pre-1975 bows is the impracticability of having to register every single sold bow in the UK with an ivory tip.

I agree with you that concern is valid and the absence of it may simply be because people are largely unaware. I have been to meetings with DEFRA and the CITES authorities, and with some few exceptions, most people in our trade are wholly unaware of what is coming down the line at them. I am determined to raise awareness.

fiddlecollector - the Act received Royal Assent in December and is expected to come into force in late 2019. This article will help https://www.gov.uk/government/news/world-leading-uk-ivory-bill-becomes-law--2?fbclid=IwAR2ynhS0UstWYDUoVebx4uYMjovLaQTy1b-RzbZt9KwIWA8gL7bwMZdNaIA

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It seems to me that another concern would be proving that a bow was made before 1975 if you don't happen to have the original dated sale receipt with attached photos.  This might not be too hard for 19th Century bows, but what about a bow made in 1970?

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Hello all, 

To turn this concern on it's head for a moment, it became self-evident back in 2017 when I was writing a deposition for DEFRA as part of their public consultation, that the unintended consequence of a regulated exemption would be an enormous strain on resources, both at an administrative level within DEFRA and in terms of the various agencies involved in policing the regulatory requirements. Given the level of resource likely to be apportioned to the prevention of ivory smuggling into and through UK ports, this would create an unnecessary and counterproductive burden that would undermine the real battle against poachers, smugglers and the illicit market in newly produced ivory. That is the reason why various parties have been campaigning for a total exemption. This is also important because (regardless of Brexit) the EU is following the UK's lead on its intended ivory legislation. 

Please do read my blog on this issue if you are interested, and please feel free to share it on social media if you think that will help up get to the 10,000 and 100,000 signatures that are critical to get this responded to by parliament. 

https://hebbertsviolins.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/why-should-musicians-appeal-against-the-ivory-act/

Thank you, and thank you to Sarah for taking the initiative on this petition in the first place. 

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On 1/29/2019 at 8:30 AM, tradfiddle said:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this make ivory-faced bows made after 1975 effectively unsaleable? Won't this remove the entire output of many outstanding modern bow makers who used ivory head plates from the market - unless they are systematically re-faced? This being the case, I'm surprised that there is not more widespread, visible concern about this Act's implications.

Tradfiddle, that's absolutely right. 

Those of us campaigning have been pushing for an all out exemption on musical instruments, even to the point of campaigning against the 20% rule. This is because there are such things as ivory lutes, which have tremendous cultural value and are exceptionally rare, that would be affected by this, just as much as the small output of ivory in bows post 1975. Again, the bureaucracy of proving the legitimacy of the bow or not is very burdensome and not effective. 

Naturally we believe that supporting an all out ban on the exploitation of ivory ultimately makes it impractical to work with the substance, and is the proper way of policing it. 



 

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Petition update - 495 signatures. 

It's a good start to the petition, thank you very much to those who have signed. Please keep spreading the word to colleagues and clients. 

For those of you who would like to mention something on your own websites or on social media please feel you can use this paragraph below.

----------------------------------------------

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.'

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237247

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: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ivory-bill-2018

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 negotiating with terrorist will get you no where....can't we just drag these people into the town square and chop their heads off? 

 

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I think if there was a total exemption for musical instruments, every new bow from China would end up with an ivory faceplate, and you'd be single-handedly responsible for elephant extinction in no time flat.  The cheapest old Euro bows I've seen still have ivory tips.

The pre '75 certification and registration is undoubtedly the best idea.  Yes, it's a lot of paperwork but it seems to me to show the extent they're willing to accommodate you!!   Plus, you guys, dealers, will probably certify the bows and you will charge the customer for that.  Then if you forge a certificate jezzupe can chop your head off.  Fine by me as long as they draw and quarter you first.

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The real reality of this situation is that people are not willing to do what really needs to be done.

If elephants were "marks" that had something you wanted and all you had to do was kill them and take it, you're {china,usa,europe} basically the ones calling the hit job, and the africans where the ivory is are just the actual hitmen , they're just doing your bidding and your paying them to do it. 

All this bureaucratic bs is a waste of time and money, to focus on ANYTHING related to Ivory that has already been killed is INSANE.

there is a CRISIS NOW, TO SAVE ELEPHANTS THAT ARE ALIVE NOW!!! AND THE ONUS FALLS ON YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE THE ONES THAT HAVE DONE THIS, YOU, CHINA,USA AND EUROPE ARE THE ONES THAT ARE THE PRIMARY USERS AND THE ONES DRIVING THE DEATH OF THESE ELEPHANTS.

so, first be honest with yourself, then after that be prepared for diplomacy and TO PAY UP SUCKER!!!

first the african nations where these elephants reside need to approached and dialogue needs to happen with the intent of these nations REQUESTING HELP....you don't force anything on anyone, like you are so apt to do...

then, once help has been requested, with FULL FUNDING COMING FROM ALL OFFENDING NATIONS...

The "african legion" is formed. The African Legion is similar to the French foreign legion in that it is primarily made up of non African citizens

the number one and only goal of the African legion is to protect all endangered species with a priority to protect the more endangerd ones, like elephants....

the legion, being fully funded by you, AT A COST THAT IS MORE LIKELY LESS THAN  THE COMBINED BUREAUCRATIC SCAMBOOGERY  THAT IS BEING PROPOSED BY YOUR CENTRAL BANKER BOY LEADERS,such as this nonsensical progressive do nothing ,sounds good, attempt at "saving elepants" 

If I were to take the budget of all the agencies , all their employees, all the buildings, the paper, the electricity , the entire shebang and use this amount of money to fund the african legion, I will guarantee within 1 week virtually all elephant killing will stop...permanently.

what you are doing with the african legion fund is you are paying {with a strong bias towards locals} men, with guns, with shoot on site orders, in the bush 24/7 , with the sole purpose of protecting elephants and endangered species.

And if you pay accordingly, have your legal issues in order,  you will create a situation that not only creates a real strong reason to not kill an elephant {you being killed} but will most likely turn a situation right around where those that were killing elephants are now [protecting them BECAUSE THERE IS MORE MONEY IN PROTECTING THEM THAN KILLING THEM....and if you want to be that one guy who goes against the grain, thinking if you can just get one elephant, you can try to do that, knowing that there are 1000's of dudes with guns patrolling looking for you, that being would an exception for that to happen, most individuals are not willing to go up against an armed group.

Basically, it's your fault and you need to pay to fix it. Then you need to realize that these "bad men killing elephants" are your creation , and that you need to pay them to stop, and that if they don't, you need to kill them, the only way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

killing is what got you into this mess, and unfortunately killing, or paying not to kill is what will get you out of it.

All this talk and legislation DOES NOTHING BUT WASTE PRECIOUS TIME.

there are lots of people who would like to camp in the bush with an AK 47 and protect elephants for 100k a year ,LOTS OF THEM. 

Stop wasting time 

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9 hours ago, jezzupe said:

 to focus on ANYTHING related to Ivory that has already been killed is INSANE.

The focus on ivory that's already been killed is a concession to antiquers, as an alternative to a total ban.  If the demand from China can't be controlled, one solution might be to handle poaching like they handle drug trafficking in the Philippines.

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I'm not sure that creating a Davos-funded private militia to summarily execute poachers is the best way forward :lol:

We need to eliminate the need and the desire for ivory - that is a matter of education. 

 

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51 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I'm not sure that creating a Davos-funded private militia to summarily execute poachers is the best way forward :lol:

We need to eliminate the need and the desire for ivory - that is a matter of education. 

 

Oh come now, that's what a rational person would say :rolleyes: , if you want results , you pay for them and back it up with violence.

all this fancy pants politician bs is not saving elephants, and if the chances of getting shot are 110%, as under my scenario there would 1000's of people looking for you all day and night every day and night, that we won't need to ask nicely via "education" because no new ivory will get produced because no more ivory comes out.

and honestly, even in nations like china where there is a moral landscape that is different from the west, at this point, pretty much everyone knows ivory is "wrong" certainly "new "ivory is, and so I really don't see it being a situation where "education" is going to do anything more, people know it's wrong but there is a black market that seems to be sustaining the demand...this product must be going to rich elite aholes who don't really have moral quandaries

it's certainly not been ending up in the musical instrument market for many years now, Bob Colosi I'm quite sure had the last "legal" stash from the 20's , and he was like the only guy in the entire usa that know of, so it's not coming here and being distributed.

this would be much more of a council of foreign relations than Davos thing

the solution is that the men who are killing the elephants need to be paid more to protect them than they get if they kill them, the ones who don't get on board need to be taken out, and china, usa and europe need to pay for it. 

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Surely you just need to skew the current state of affairs around a bit and offer big game hunters a license to shoot poachers instead of elephants ... they would probably pay more for a poacher than for an elephant.

We could then extend this principle to looters, muggers, rapists, paedophiles, industrial polluters and other sundry offenders (convicted or suspected). Get this planet of ours cleaned up in no time!

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7 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

The focus on ivory that's already been killed is a concession to antiquers, as an alternative to a total ban.  If the demand from China can't be controlled, one solution might be to handle poaching like they handle drug trafficking in the Philippines.

Lets imagine a scenario where tomorrow the last elephant was killed and the species is now extinct. Will there still be a ban? What would be the point? this "ban" was enacted to "change attitudes and behavior" via education in order to reduce the desire for Ivory in order to save elephants....

because at this rate, with all this virtue signalling bureaucratic pen waving , which is a waste of time, all the elephants will be dead before this feigned attempt at "changing behavior" does anything .

for a society to stand back and let their ruling class declare such an illogical thing as a ban on all ivory that has come from elephants long since dead is ludicrous and just shows you how beat down and conditioned most have become. 

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23 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Surely you just need to skew the current state of affairs around a bit and offer big game hunters a license to shoot poachers instead of elephants ... they would probably pay more for a poacher than for an elephant.

We could then extend this principle to looters, muggers, rapists, paedophiles, industrial polluters and other sundry offenders (convicted or suspected). Get this planet of ours cleaned up in no time!

Well the problem with this is that, one of these things is not like the other. The looters,rapists,pedos, polluters and what not are all humans, 6 billion strong, and most of them questionable...

and on the other hand we have the elephant, a different species that has been hunted to the brink of extinction by, you guessed it the 6 billion strong human species.

In my mind, any species that is at the brink of extinction gets exceptional priority and should be elevated to a level above human, it's really the least you could do , seeing how we did it.

as for the criminals, with the current birth rates and global economic environment, I don't think there's hope at stopping that , and really all the crimes you listed are human on human crime, a much lower priority than saving a species from extinction. 

the difference between a group of vigilantes and an army is that somebody important said it was ok :lol: 

edit; and well those big game guys could just join the legion for the 3 month tour....and as for the rest, we have bounty hunters and cops 

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