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The move comes as countries at the CITES conference in The Hague, including Britain, passed a motion last week to establish a working group to deal specifically with internet trade.

eBay’s statement that it will take down listings of ivory that offer international shipping appears to relate to both modern and antique items.

The tightening of its ivory policies follows negotiations with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) who produced a report showing that 90 per cent of elephant ivory listings on the website were in breach of even eBay’s own wildlife policies.

On the German eBay site, the regulations on ivory were amended in March. Users are only permitted to trade in pre-1947 carved ivory and the rules now require vendors to provide scans of documents proving the age of the ivory they are offering.

eBay has also started policing the site in Germany. Since then, ivory traffic has plunged 98 per cent. The IFAW are now campaigning for eBay to extend this policy globally.