By Jeffrey Flocken
Given the rampant poaching of African elephants for their tusks, and the large illegal ivory market, elephants haven’t had a lot to celebrate. However, efforts to protect the species are definitely underway.
IFAW has been making eBay aware of how some unscrupulous traders are seeking to evade the eBay ivory ban by disguising their items as ‘faux ivory’, an issue which was highlighted in our ‘Click to Delete’ report in Australia this May. eBay is now implementing a block on “faux ivory” advertisements in certain categories of their site, including in the US, to prevent traders from circumventing their ban on the sale of ivory.
Also on IFAW.org: Points to POTUS for protecting the wild blue yonder
eBay voluntarily prohibited the sale of ivory in 2009. This followed an ongoing dialogue between eBay that culminated in the IFAW investigation 'Killing with Keystrokes' and was welcomed by IFAW at the time.
It is disappointing to see that since eBay’s voluntary ivory ban online traders have developed systems for circumventing the ban in order to sell their ivory products on the company’s site.
eBay’s new block on the term “faux ivory”, however, is yet another positive step by a private company which is essential if we are to put an end to the sale of illegal ivory.
And it’s another reason to applaud the company’s efforts to protect elephants.
It’s safe to say that eBay is striving to be one of the largest contributors to the solution, ensuring that e-commerce does not affect wild elephants. And it is clear that until we can get a handle on the sale of elephant ivory more companies need to follow eBay’s lead.
Currently, elephants around the world face grave danger as the insatiable hunger for ivory trinkets and products grows. Every 15 minutes, on average, a poacher kills an elephant for its ivory tusks. With fewer than 500,000 elephants remaining in Africa’s savannahs and jungles, the ivory trade must end, and soon.