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A Good July for Elephants, as Japan E-Commerce Giant Rakuten Shuts Down Ivory Sales

by Christin VanZant last modified Aug 14, 2017 03:49 PM
Contributors: African Wildlife Fouundation
In a major victory for wildlife, Japanese giant Internet retailer Rakuten announced on July 6, 2017, that it was banning the sale of ivory on its site, with trading to be phased out over the next month. Rakuten Inc., valued at $16.48 billion on July 7, 2017, was in 2014 named the world’s largest seller of ivory online by conservationists.

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The ban comes in the wake of mounting an international criticism of the trade and public support for a sweeping policy change and illustrates the need for conservationists to keep up the campaign to end the global trade in wildlife products. During the last few weeks, over 36,500 individuals sent messages to Rakuten’s president urging the closure of the platform’s ivory sales, as part of African Wildlife Foundation’s demand-reduction campaign.



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