eBay does the right thing, bans ivory sales

Internet auction house eBay has banned all sale of elephant ivory beginning 2009, on the heels of a new report tracking online ivory sales conducted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Over 20,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year, and ivory harvest is behind 73 percent of the slaughter, according to the IFAW. They tracked over 7,000 ivory sales online over from May to June 2008 and found 83 percent were done through eBay.

A significant amount of elephant ivory, according to the IFAW, shipped internationally, contrary to international protections established by the U.N.-backed Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. Looking at the bigger picture, the report found that 70 percent of all “endangered species products” listed for sale on the Internet occur in the United States.

eBay’s decision to ban ivory sales could help stem the tide of extinction facing elephants and other creatures crucial to Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystem health.

October 22, 2008

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