Wildlife Parts Traded on eBay

Trade One year after eBay, Inc. announced restrictions on the trade of elephant ivory across international borders, IFAW investigators have found that eBay auctions of illegal ivory have skyrocketed in the United States. This, despite reports of large reductions in ivory auctions in some foreign countries where eBay affiliate offices have severely restricted or banned the trade in ivory completely.

Today the New York Times addresses the issue as the trade in endangered species begins to fall more on the shoulders of us in America.

“eBay’s affiliates in countries including Germany, Australia, France and China have virtually eliminated the illegal ivory trade on their websites thanks to severe restrictions and outright bans,” said Jeff Flocken, Washington, DC, Office Director. “Unfortunately, based on IFAW’s investigations, it seems that this deadly trade has shifted to North America.”

From the Times: "In a telephone interview, Claudia A. McMurray, assistant secretary for oceans, environment and science, said that while the biggest flow of such contraband is to China, the United States comes in second, and that means far too many Americans are willing to break the law — and threaten global biodiversity — for the sake of having an unusual pet or product".

For those not actively engaged in this issue it might sound odd that there's a huge demand for animal parts and/or products and that such an internationally well known public space such as Ebay would allow for this to happen. There must be some sort of enforcement prohibiting this activity, right? There is, but it very much depends on the country and enforcement resources, something IFAW is campaigning to improve daily.

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