The Hague, Netherlands: The International online commerce site eBay today said it will announce a ban on the trade of elephant ivory on all of its sites, prompting conservationists to call it a groundbreaking step against the global illegal ivory trade.
This decision follows an investigation by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) of ivory sale on eBay sites in eight countries and meetings between IFAW and eBay officials in the U.S. and across Europe.
This announcement comes as more than 170 nations convene in The Hague for the 14th meeting of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to consider a twenty-year elephant ivory trade moratorium.
In its survey carried out in February 2007, IFAW found that 94 per cent of elephant ivory for sale on eBay sites was potentially illegal. The report also found that eBay policies varied from country to country and were often vague and not enforced.
In addition to the ban of international trade (trade between nations), eBay also assured to adopt a clearer and stricter policies on a national level for in-country trade.
“This is fantastic news that an international company of eBay’s commercial and financial might has taken groundbreaking steps to protect elephants from the international illegal ivory trade. IFAW believes that this is an important step forward, but a total ban is finally needed, and we will continue to work with eBay and others to implement this,” said Peter Pueschel, IFAW Head of Global Program Against Wildlife Trade.
IFAW and Wildlife Trust of India formed a partnership in 2000 to strengthen the cause of wildlife conservation and animal welfare in India. The two organizations share concerns for a number of endangered animals.