Increase Penalties for Endangered Species Trading in the UK

  • by: Judith B.
  • target: Government of the United Kingdom

A Battersea man was recently convicted of trading in endangered species, but only got a token fine. Alick Brown was found to be selling whale and dolphin bones, turtle shells and even antique elephant ivory, all completely illegally.

He escaped prison and received a total fine of just £1,375, scarcely more than you’d get for a minor traffic violation. This sort of minute fine is not going to discourage criminals from trading in, the very valuable, parts of threatened animals – they’d just write it off as a “business expense”.

It’s clear the law needs revising. People putting the world’s most threatened animals at risk in this manner should, at the very least, receive fines they’d notice. For the most serious offences, like this one, prison sentences would be more appropriate.

It’s ridiculous that people face harsher penalties for “inconsiderate driving” than they do for ivory trading. Tell the UK government to revise the relevant laws immediately.

We the undersigned ask that you introduce much tougher penalties for trading in ivory and other parts of protected species. The case of Alick Brown, who was convicted of several such offences but only received a token fine, underscores the inadequacy of current legislation.


Such minute fines are unlikely to deter anybody from trading in the parts of threatened species, especially given the prices such items command on the black market. Unless the UK introduces realistic penalties for these crimes, it will continue undermining the efforts of anti-poaching units globally, and leave some of the world’s most endangered animals in danger of extinction.


Please introduce substantial fines for first time, relatively minor offences of this nature and prison sentences for larger scale enterprises, such as the Brown case.


Thank you for your attention.

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