Amazon.com is Selling Thousands of Ivory Items as the Slaughter of Africa's
Elephants Intensifies: Sales Violate Amazon Policies Banning all Ivory Sales
BANGKOK, March 13, 2013
BANGKOK, March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The following is being
released by the Environmental Investigation Agency:
Amazon.com has thousands of ads for elephant ivory on its Japanese website
despite such sales being banned under Amazon's policies designed to protect
endangered species. This follows last week's revelation that Google was
allowing similar illicit sale of ivory products by its Google Japan Shopping
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a non profit group based in
Washington, DC and London, UK, discovered thousands of ivory products for sale
on Amazon's wholly owned Japanese website even though Amazon.com bans the sale
of all ivory products.
This shocking discovery comes as 178 nations meet in Bangkok this week for the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The gathered
nations have struggled to find ways to counter the mass slaughter of elephants
across much of Africa for their ivory tusks to supply the burgeoning demand in
Asia, particularly Japan and China.
Allan Thornton, EIA's President said today that "Amazon.com has turned a blind
eye to the sale of thousands of ivory products on its Japanese website,
further endangering Africa's already devastated elephant populations. Like
Google, Amazon.com has ignored its laudable policies to protect endangered
species and turned its back on the massacre of Africa's elephants. How many
more elephants have been killed as a result?"
A letter from the EIA President was couriered to the office of Amazon.com CEO
Jeff Bezos on February 22^nd with copies of screenshots showing dozens of the
thousands of ivory ads displayed on Amazon Japan. Additional information and
weblinks to the ivory products were also provided directly to Amazon Japan.
Some ivory products were removed but around 3,000 ads still offer ivory for
Most of the Amazon Japan ivory ads are for "hanko," which are Japanese name
seals used to affix signatures to documents. Hanko sales, a major demand
driver for elephant ivory, have contributed to the wide-scale resumption of
elephant poaching across Africa. An estimated 35,000 African elephants are now
being illegally killed for their tusks each year; however, some scientists
believe the numbers are much higher.
Last year EIA and Humane Society International (HSI) revealed how Amazon.com's
Japanese website was selling over 140 whale products, which were removed
immediately when EIA and HSI informed Amazon.com of the whale ads.. Within two
weeks Amazon.com banned the sale of all whale and dolphin products on its
Amazon.com's policy specifically states that "Products containing ivory from
animals" are prohibited under "Examples of Prohibited Listings."
The EIA is appealing to Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos to ensure that all
Amazon.com promotions of ads for elephant ivory products on its sites are
immediately and permanently removed, and that Amazon.com remains vigilant in
monitoring and enforcing this policy in the future.
SOURCE Environmental Investigation Agency
Contact: Allan Thornton, President, EIA-US, +1-202361-6941,
firstname.lastname@example.org; orLisa Handy, Senior Policy Adviser, EIA-US,
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