From the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s CEO, Azzedine Downes
‘The Internet just became a lot friendlier to wildlife, and a lot less friendly to wildlife criminals”
Yesterday we celebrated World Elephant Day with the good news that seven major online tech companies, including eBay, Etsy, Gumtree, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tencent and Yahoo! have united to adopt a new policy framework that will help protect animals from illegal online trade.
This announcement comes at a crucial time for wildlife. Take a moment to digest these shocking figures:
- Approximately 100,000 African elephants were killed for their ivory between 2010-2012
- Rhino poaching increased by 9300% in South Africa from 2007-2014
- Tiger populations have plummeted by 97% in the last century, leaving only approximately 3,900 left in the wild
- And more than 1 million pangolins have been poached from the wild in the last decade alone
Many of the parts and products from those animals ended up for sale on popular online sites. The new framework will prohibit trade of a wide variety of imperiled wildlife and their parts, making it much easier for customers to know what is and isn’t allowed on these online platforms.
And whilst previously criminals could “shop around” for sites with the most relaxed policies, this latest agreement is a big step toward an industry-wide standard that eliminates the loopholes that that have made it easier for criminals to traffic wildlife online.
With this new policy, these companies put aside their commercial interests to work together to protect wildlife.
We were thrilled to partner with WWF and TRAFFIC on this important project. We’ll continue to work together to monitor progress and make sure that these policy changes accomplish what they’re intended to, but it is incredibly encouraging to see this latest development.
P.S. We have worked for years to make the e-commerce sector a cruelty-free environment, and this announcement is an important step towards that goal.
Sadly, Yahoo Japan has not joined the other online tech companies in adopting the new policy framework. Sign petition here to ask them to do so now.
August 21st 2016 Namibia and Zimbabwe have filed petitions to CITES to lift the international ban on the sale of ivory – Focusing on Wildlife