E-commerce company Rakuten Inc. has banned the sale of ivory items at its shopping site amid criticism from environmental activists that illegal trade in ivory is rampant on the internet, a company official said Thursday.
International trade in African elephant parts has been banned, but with ivory poaching worsening in recent years, calls have been mounting for a ban on domestic trade as well.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, also known as the Washington Convention, adopted a resolution last year calling for all signatories to close their domestic ivory markets. But Japan, a party to CITES, has left its ivory market open while deciding to impose tighter rules.
Rakuten decided to ban ivory sales on its online mall in response to mounting international calls for such a measure, the company official said.