Buyer Beware

Illegal Ivory Trade-China, Vietnam, and Thailand certainly play the biggest role in the demise of the elephant. With over 32,000 elephants slaughtered within the last year, poaching and illegal trade have reached epic proportions.

But the US is second to China in the dealings of illegal ivory.

The US is seemingly aggressive when it comes to seizing illegal ivory entering the country. In 2012  $2 million of ivory was seized in Manhattan; the guilty parties were asian jewelry shop owners.

But the black market trade is fueled by cyberspace. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) states that online trading is definitely an issue in the US. One way sellers and buyers use to conceal their product is by using code words; ox bone, white gold, unburnable bone, or cold to the touch.

I checked into the four most prominent sites here in the US-Google, Amazon, Ebay and Amazingly, it took only a few minutes for me to find ivory jewelry and trinkets on Google, Amazon and Ebay. I found nothing on

The US law states that ivory from the African Elephant cannot be internationally sold or bought. But  it IS legal to own, sell or buy within the US. No permits or registration is required. Pertaining to the Asian Elephant-all trade is illegal across the board.

The thought being that the ivory  already present is older “pre-ban” ivory dating before 1989. However, there seems to be no shortage of  items found on-line.

Google said in an emailed response to The Associated Press that “ads for products obtained from endangered or threatened species are not allowed on Google. As soon as we detect ads that violate our advertising policies, we remove them. But there are so many ads that come out every day, you have to be vigilant. You have to keep checking.”

Illicit ivory sold in the US is typically used to make gun and knife handles, billiard balls, piano keys and combs. There is also a market for small items such as trinkets and jewelry.

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Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Buyer Beware

  1. Great post. Will continue to petition, write and blog in hopes of influencing U.S. citizens to push for MAJOR change in animal rights/welfare and wildlife protection in the United States. It is really unbelievable how apathetic the U.S. in general is to sentience of living beings and the most basic humane treatment of the animal species.

    Will share a link to this post on our facebook page at:

    Many Blessings!


    • Thank you Gerean.
      In the words of Margaret Mead-
      “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

  2. Reblogged this on bearspawprint.

  3. My sister walked into an art gallery in Okemos and found this huge carved ivory tusk. Asked the employees if there was documentation on age, country of origin etc. They said there was none. Just watched a special on PBS about the ivory trade and how 300 elephants a day are being poached for the tusks. Thought that the US had laws in place to stop the sale of ivory!!! But they have to be enforced. Talked to the Mall Authorities, they didn’t know it was there and called the Meridian Township police. Hopefully, they know how to look up the CITES laws and report to the Feds. Still upset that If you see ivory of any kind for sale, ask for documentation. If they don’t have documentation it is as illegal as selling marijuana, call the police!there is such blatant illegal trade in dead elephant parts here too.

    • Exactly! Good for her! We all need to be vigilant in our own backyards. It’s not a problem “over there” as some believe. It is here where we live. The trade would not continue if buyers were called out on it.

  4. GiRRL_Earth

    I agree with all comments to this post. It seems the US spends more time and energy on stupid shit like the “war on drugs” instead of focusing on the fact that pretty soon, there will not be any elephants or rhinos left in the GD world! Ah, helloooooooooooooo wake up US Authorities before it’s too F*CKING LATE! ARGH! This frustrates me to no end.

    @RehabilitateYourHeart — I couldn’t bring myself to watch that PBS docu because I had a gut feeling the fates of elephants is worse than I thought. “300 elephants a day are being poached?!?! What a shame. What a disgrace.

    I’m going to reblog this.

  5. GiRRL_Earth

    Reblogged this on GiRRL_Earth and commented:
    Did you know that 300 elephants are murdered every single day just for their tusks?

    • Anything involving the environment or animals seems to be secondary on the priority list here. Just the fact that we still allow circuses and animal testing says a lot. A friend in France commented that the US seems slow to react to animal welfare concerns. Agreed!

      • GiRRL_Earth

        animal testing really eats at the center of my core. I hate all forms of animal exploitation but animal testing and farm factories keep me up at night staring at the ceiling asking Why and What can I do?

      • We can educate others, sign petitions, and writer to the companies who Do animal testing and tell them its important to us, and until they stop using animals, we refuse to buy their products!

      • GiRRL_Earth

        Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies dump millions of dollars into research/testing and unfortunately, most of the research is done on animals. Sigh.

        It’s an uphill battle but I will never give up the fight.

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