EBay to ban sales of ivory on its website
Online auction giant eBay announced Monday that it will ban sales of ivory via its website starting next year due to concerns that it is helping to fuel poaching of endangered elephants. The announcement was made ahead of a report [PDF] released Tuesday by the International Fund for Animal Welfare that tracked online wildlife-product commerce and concluded that eBay is the venue of choice for most online endangered-wildlife sales. Some 75 percent of online wildlife-product sales that were tracked in the study came from elephants, which prompted eBay’s ban announcement. “We feel [a ban] is the best way to protect the endangered and protected species from which a significant portion of ivory products are derived,” eBay wrote in its blog. Last year, the company banned international ivory sales on its websites, though IFAW found in its investigation that most eBay ivory sales are now done through the company’s U.S. site. According to IFAW, over 20,000 elephants are poached for ivory each year in Africa and Asia.