In February 2014 The Telegraph online, www.telegraph.co.uk, reported that ivory traders were delibrately flouting an eBay ban on the trade by describing their products ox-bone or faux ivory.
Wildlife charities were appealing to eBay to put pop-up legal warnings on its auction site to prevent the trade in illegal ivory products.
eBay had banned all ivory sales after an investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare exposed how 2,275 elephant ivory items were sold in a single week in 2007. Since then conservationists say sellers have got round the ban by not using the word “ivory” when describing items for sale.
Detective Inspector Nevin Hunter, the head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, stated that “The vast majority of ivory on eBay was legal to sell." The ban on eBay meant that people were selling it in other ways leading to people committing fraud.
He went on to say "We need eBay to make sure that sellers comply with the law.”
Charities say trading in ivory on the internet is fuelling the illegal poaching of elephants in Africa.
Simon Pope, director of campaigns at World Society for the Protection of Animals, said : “The growth of the internet has created a global marketplace for endangered animals, which has been ruthlessly exploited by criminals. Ivory from a slaughtered elephant can now be bought on a credit card from a laptop, shipped by post and delivered through the letter box. It has all become much too easy.”
An eBay spokesman said: “eBay works closely with conservation groups, many of whom recognise the significant steps we take to stop the sale of ivory products.”
Ivory traders using eBay to sell goods (10 February 2014)