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They are stepping up their campaign after the trade in ivory objects on eBay in Germany fell 98 per cent following the introduction of new eBay regulations at the end of May. Although the trade in antique ivory is legal, IFAW say it makes enforcing the ban on new ivory products difficult for the authorities. "IFAW is therefore calling for a complete ban on the trade in ivory products," said a spokesman.

"Trade in ivory on eBay Germany has declined by more than 98 per cent following the strengthening of its ivory policy and current strict internal monitoring," IFAW explained. "Yet while IFAW applauds the excellent success in Germany, we remain concerned that the UK company is not monitoring or enforcing its own wildlife policy."

IFAW worked in close collaboration with eBay Germany to tighten the regulations and say that before the change, eBay Germany had offers of 300 to 400 articles daily. That has dropped to only between three and ten daily.

"eBay's security team now blocks all offers that do not contain official documents which prove their legality. Repeated violations can lead to an expulsion from the eBay community or may even result in prosecution by conservation authorities," said an IFAW spokesman.

IFAW's Wildlife Trade campaigner, Nikki Kelly, said: "It's clearly not enough to have policies in place if they are not actively enforced. We strongly urge eBay UK to follow the German lead and act now to save elephants from extinction."