Alibaba and eight others remove banned wildlife products, including ivory, from their trading platforms


(Posted 14th October 2014)

Nine of China’s best known internet trading companies, including the recently gone public Alibaba, have in a dramatic turn of events committed themselves to the total removal of items banned under the global CITES Convention, which includes blood ivory carvings, rhino horn and other wildlife products like skins, teeth and claws from their trading platforms.

They also called on the public at large to refrain in the trade and use of such banned items, giving conservation a major boost as convenient online transactions with such items are now no longer possible.

The move gives rise to hope that the Chinese government, under intense pressure from global conservation groups, will now follow suit and begin in earnest, not just in words, a crackdown on the ivory carving businesses, many of which use blood ivory. A Nairobi based conservationist, when told of the good news, promptly responded by writing: ‘This is very very good news for us. It is a big boost for suppressing demand by taking that form of trading out of the equation. There might still be other ways to trade ivory but in this age, taking e-platforms out f the trade, is huge’.

Africa has over the past few years lost thousands of rhinos, especially in South Africa, to the poaching gangs and in Eastern Africa, but also Central and West Africa, where tens of thousands of elephant were wiped out. Tanzania sadly was at the forefront of the slaughter, as their government stood by, either idle or helpless to stem the tide as herd after herd was mowed down in the Selous Game Reserve, where numbers since 2007 reduced by over 50,000 to just around 13.000 elephant now left from the previous 60-70.000 under the previous census.

Kudos to the Chinese e-trading platforms for taking this courageous step and becoming partners in the global fight against poaching.

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