EBay bans the sale of ivory...elephants everywhere do the cabbage-patch


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Rack one up for the elephants. EBay, the biggest online flea market in the stratosphere, issued a statement today that it will ban the sale of ivory on its websites worldwide, beginning Jan. 1.

Prompted by animal welfare agencies including the Humane Society International, the company banned cross-border sales of ivory last year -- but as is often the case on EBay, rule-breakers abounded, pushing illegal ivory in underhanded ways.


Here’s an excerpt from the EBay blog on why the company finally went for the full monty -- click here to read the entire post:

Global demand for ivory has long been a significant factor in the poaching of African and Asian elephants, driving these species towards extinction –- to such a degree that both types of elephants are now considered endangered or protected species. [We] concluded that we simply can’t ensure that ivory listed for sale on eBay is in compliance with the complex regulations that govern its sale.

Not that they had much choice. According to a newly published report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Ebay is responsible for 63% of the trade in endangered species -- with elephant ivory comprising 73% of all products tracked.

Under the ban, you can still buy and sell some antique pieces that contain a small amount of ivory, such as an antique piano with ivory keys. (The company defines ‘antique” for the sale of items that contain a small amount of ivory as pre-1900.) But merch with a significant amount of ivory, regardless of its age -- such as chess sets and ivory jewelry -- are strictly verboten under the new policy.

Ebay may have come late to the table on this issue, but at least it’s finally taking a stand against poaching and illegal trading. Makes me wanna bid on pair of ill-fitting Levi’s right now.

--Emili Vesilind