From January 2009, and not a minute too soon, eBay will begin to enforce a global ban of ivory sales from its market website. According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), more than 4000 ivory products have been listed on ebay so this is a significant move by eBay and, as their market website is a worldwide and hugely popular phenomenon, it’s also a powerful message that will reach many people who remain unaware that elephant poaching is on the increase.
The ban was prompted in part by an IFAW report aptly titled “Killing with Keystrokes” which investigated Internet trading of endangered animal products. The report found that such trading was causing an immediate threat to the survival of elephants. So kudos to eBay for acting swiftly and responsibly.
Ivory selling is already illegal under the 1989 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species but the black market being what it is and the Internet being what it is, unethical traders are bound to sneak through. And to be fair to eBay, to quote the head of trust and safety for eBay UK, Richard Ambrose . . .
“The complex nature of regulations that govern [ivory’s] sale globally means it is extremely difficult for us to distinguish between legitimate and illegal trade,”
Well now eBay has simplified things by introducing the blanket ban. So, thanks eBay. It was the right and only thing to do.