eBay bans ivory

Posted by Laura Grant on October 22, 2008
Posted in Conservation

eBay has decided to ban the sale of elephant ivory products from January 2009 and has called on all other Internet traders to do the same, a move that has been congratulated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

IFAW says that the trade in wildlife on the Internet poses a significant and immediate threat to the survival of elephants and many other endangered species. In a report released this week the group tracked more than 7,000 wildlife product listings on 183 websites in 11 countries. eBay was responsible for almost two-thirds of the online trade in wildlife products worldwide.

According to the IFAW report, Killing with Keystrokes: An Investigation of the Illegal Wildlife Trade on the World Wide Web, more than 70 percent of all endangered species’ products listed for sale on the Internet are in the United States. The trade tracked in the US was nearly 10 times that tracked in the next two leading countries, the United Kingdom and China.

Elephant ivory made up 73 percent of the products tracked and exotic birds nearly 20 percent. But IFAW said that primates, big cats and other animals are also falling victim to the e-trade in live animals and wildlife products.

Despite the fact that the saie of ivory has been illegal since 1989, website are “teeming with ivory trinkets, bracelets, and even whole tusks for sale”, said IFAW. And every year, more than 20,000 elephants are illegally slaughtered in Africa and Asia to meet demand for ivory products.

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