This week eBay announced it would stop selling ivory products -- even antiques. The idea is to make sure there's less of a viable market for ivory -- and help cut the demand that leads to more elephant killing.

The decision comes just before the International Fund for Animal Welfare issued a report Killing with Keystrokes that shows how illegal trade in animals and animal parts goes on right in the virtual public square -- online auctions.

IFAW looked at 183 publicly available websites in 11 countries for six weeks and turned up
7,111 online auctions for species that shouldn't be traded. The vast majority were for trade in endangered species, specifically elephant ivory, but also included live birds and some other animal products.

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The report looked at species that were classified by the international authority, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as already endangered (what they call Appendix I) or at risk if we don't keep an eye or trade (Appendix II).

Here are some things it found:
  • The United States and Canada accounted for 54% of global listings: US$2,094,750
  • The U.S. and Canada bought $400,348 of endangered goods (87.5% of the total value)
  • In the U.S. 73% of the advertising volume occurred on eBay. Of that figure, 99% was in elephant ivory.
  • Some 98.8% of goods sold to Americans were from U.S.-based sellers
  • In the six weeks, U.S. eBay advertised 3,667 ivory items and sold 1,847 of them for a total of $370,000
  • IFAW estimates eBay earned $128,000 on $3.2 million in annual ivory sales through listing fees and commissions
The ban doesn't go into effect until the new year and I could still find plenty of ivory for sale on eBay. And because the ban will work on key words, sellers will be able to find their way around eBay's wildlife policy. They may just move on over to Craigslist, which effectively has zero standards as far as listings go. (You can flag something, but good luck on getting them to respond.)

What's weird is, eBay is usually pretty good about policing its listings. But these total animal listings are stunning. Last year it already banned the international sale of ivory, but IFAW still found plenty of it. If IFAW and I could find these listings, then surely someone from eBay could. Or how about the Fish and Wildlife Service? Aren't we paying them to do just that? Oh, yeah, their number of inspectors has been slashed to 210 from 238 in 2002. Meanwhile, since 2000 the amount of legal wildlife commerce has doubled.

I remember in the early days of eBay I once tried to skirt its rules to find an adoptive home for a stray kitten I took in. (I tried to sell cat kisses instead of a cat.) That auction was down and I was scolded within hours. If only it could put that kind of effort into stopping people who are, even if inadvertently, hurting animals.

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y2kcatz

10/31/11 when will ebay put a stop to selling of ivory/bone,Is it allowed if I can idetify the ivory?
why is there a drop box for listing the item?
Why are they allowed to use FAUX or ivory colored? Guess because I'm NOT a TOP RATED SELLER I'm ignored or my questions won't get answered. current auctions going for high $$$
170624923804,280727624797,330556573138,200669272637,120767982168,200667700251,200667682959,200667678113,200667693075,3604...04184517,200667696965,320770075264, & many more.
ebay has 5 pages of these items listed under Vintage
Related Items:item: 170624923804,item: 280727624797
330556573138, 200669272637
120767982168, 200667700251
200667682959, 200667678113
200667693075 , 360404184517
200667696965, 320770075264See More

October 31 2011 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply