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Planet Ark World Environment News Ebay to Ban Global Ivory Trade on its Sites

Date: 06-Jun-07
Country: NETHERLANDS

A spokeswoman for eBay said it was tightening its policy on ivory sales and that the ban on international trade in elephant ivory would come into effect by the end of June.

International Fund for Animal Welfare said it was the first online international trade ban of elephant ivory.

"IFAW believes that this is an important step forward, but that a total ban is ultimately needed, and we will continue to work with eBay and others to implement this," Peter Pueschel, IFAW head of the global programme against wildlife trade, said in a statement.

The Fund said a survey carried out in February found that 94 percent of elephant ivory traded on eBay sites was potentially illegal and that eBay's policies varied from country to country and were often vague and not enforced.

International wildlife trade laws differ from country to country and are often complex but according to the IFAW, in general it is illegal to sell carved or uncarved ivory unless it is antique and accompanied by a proof of age certificate.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) imposed a ban on international ivory trade in 1989, practically ending trade but this has since revived.

eBay will implement clearer and stricter policies on a national level for in-country trade, the Fund said.

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