Parliamentary inquiry recommends ivory exemption

The Federal Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement inquiry into the trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn has recommended exemption of bagpipes from the domestic trade framework for elephant ivory.

The recommendation, contained in the inquiry report released today, covers musical instruments with ivory content of less than 20 per cent and made prior to 1975.

The report noted: “A range of musical instruments have used ivory material: namely piano keys, violin bows and bagpipes. In recognition of their use, the UK framework establishes a separate exemption for musical instruments. The ivory content threshold is set at 20 per cent by volume, and applicable for instruments made prior to 1975. The UK government's submission clarified that the 20 per cent ivory content threshold covered 'the vast majority of commonly used and traded instruments'.”

It further said acknowledged: “Some pipes have traditionally used ivory mounts and ferrules, which prevent the cracking and splitting of wooden drones and chanters. Although this ivory is a decorative element, it is also integral to the functions of the instrument.”

The recommendation is consistent with submissions by Pipe Bands Australia and the Celtic Piping Club that were among 84 submissions received by the inquiry committee.

Pipe Bands Australia welcomes the committee’s recommendation and will continue to monitor tabling of the report in Parliament and future draft legislation as it is presented.

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