eBay, which has recently endeared itself to ethical consumers with a partnership with World of Good, is planning to ban auctions of ivory in order to eliminate any unintentional support of illegal elephant poaching, according to the on-line auction site's blog.
eBay will enforce a new ban on ivory sales starting in 2009.
"eBay recognizes the distinct responsibilities that come along with the unique attributes of our global marketplace," the blog reads. "Thats why, in keeping with the principles established under CITES (the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, which regulates international trade of endangered species), eBay banned cross-border sales of ivory in 2007. This ban tried to balance the protection of endangered and protected species while also providing a way for sellers to offer legitimate ivory products legally allowed for sale within domestic markets. However, given the complexities of the global ivory trade, and the distinct and unique characteristics of the eBay Marketplace, the sale of any ivory on our site continued to be a concern within the company and among stakeholders."
Some exceptions, for items made before 1900, will be allowed.
The basic issue is this: You can't tell, when you buy ivory, where it originated. Because illegal poaching of elephants, notably endangered and threatened species, is so rampant, it's likely that new ivory originates from illegal and cruel poaching that litters the African savanna with rotting carcasses that have had their tusks sawed off, as reports in National Geographic and elsewhere have graphically demonstrated.
The Humane Society of the United States roared its approval of eBay's decision.
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