Chris Schmid

WildAid and the #JoinTheHerd campaign are honored to be among 32 environmental and conservation organizations who have appealed to Yahoo! Japan, the world’s largest internet ivory seller, and its major shareholder SoftBank, to halt all elephant ivory sales on Yahoo! Japan’s shopping and auction sites. An open letter addressed to SoftBank and Yahoo! Japan executives, Masayoshi Son and Nikesh Arora, urges the companies to act now to protect elephants.

An estimated 33,000 elephants are being killed each year for their ivory, fueling a poaching crisis in many African countries. To combat this crisis and to protect elephants, major ivory markets including the United States, China and Hong Kong SAR have committed to taking steps to ban their domestic ivory trades. Furthermore, internet retailers such as Google, Amazon, eBay and Alibaba have already banned ivory sales on their platforms.

SoftBank, with its 43 percent share of Yahoo! Japan, is uniquely positioned to ensure that Yahoo! Japan acts in a socially and environmentally responsible manner by banning the advertisement and sale of all elephant products. The coalition’s appeal highlights SoftBank’s corporate social responsibility and environmental commitments, including its central commitment “to protecting the earth for future generations.”

The coalition writesL “Yahoo! Japan’s auction and online shopping sites are a major distribution channel for the sale of ivory in Japan, much of which is illegal. The scale of ivory sales of dubious origin on Yahoo! Japan’s shopping and auction sites is immense and growing.”

“If the governments of China (including Hong Kong SAR) and the US can announce an end to ivory sales, then so should Yahoo! Japan, instead of enabling the poaching of elephants in Africa,” WildAid CEO Peter Knights said.

Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said, “We appeal to SoftBank leaders Masayoshi Son and Nikesh Arora to protect the elephants for future generations by banning ivory trade on Yahoo! Japan. SoftBank’s decision is vital to protect Africa’s elephants from being wiped out by ivory poachers.”

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About WildAid

WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too. 

Journalists on deadline may email communications@wildaid.org