Starting November 1, 2019, internet company Yahoo! will no longer sell ivory on its e-commerce platforms. Currently, Japan has 16,000 registered ivory retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers, and Yahoo!’s ban removes a significant amount of access to ivory across Japan—where two tons of the cruelty begotten product of elephant torture were siezed by Chinese authorities from 2011 to 2016. Animal protection group Humane Society International (HSI) has long campaigned against the full shutdown of the ivory trade in Japan and is currently in talks with world leaders at the 18th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) about the global elephant ivory trade. “Yahoo! Japan’s decision spells the end of Japan’s domestic ivory market in the near future,” HSI Senior Wildlife Specialist Iris Ho said. “We applaud Yahoo! Japan for recognizing the irrefutable fact that any legal market serves as a convenient cover for the sale of illegal ivory, so it is hugely significant that their online platforms will no longer contribute to this devastating trade.” Both HSI and the African Elephant Coalition (which represents 32 African nations) is urging Japan to eliminate the trade entirely. “We now call on the government of Japan to swiftly move towards the complete closure of its domestic ivory market so that the millions of international tourists who will descend in Japan for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games can visit a Japan that is free of elephant ivory trade,” Ho said.
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