Seized: Ivory tusks are displayed after being confiscated in Hong Kong. Photo: AP

6 March 2013 (AFP) – Conservationists have urged Google to remove thousands of advertisements promoting products made from endangered whales and elephants.

Campaign group the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said it had written to Google chief executive Larry Page last month appealing for the removal of more than 1400 ads promoting whale products and 10,000 ads for elephant ivory products on its Japanese shopping site.

"Google has laudable policies that prohibit the promotion of endangered wildlife products including whale, dolphin and elephant ivory, but sadly these are not being enforced and that's devastating for whales and elephants," said EIA president Allan Thornton.

"While elephants are being mass slaughtered across Africa to produce ivory trinkets, it is shocking to discover that Google, with the massive resources it has at its disposal, is failing to enforce its own policies," he added.

Google said in response to the appeal that advertisements for products obtained from endangered or threatened species are not allowed on its sites.

"As soon as we detect ads that violate our advertising policies, we remove them," said a Google spokesperson. […]

Poaching for illegal ivory claims the lives of up to 30,000 African elephants each year, estimates the wildlife organisation WWF. [more]

Google urged to remove ads for ivory, whale products



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