Yahoo Japan has affirmed that it will strengthen its policies to stop selling ivory products in its auction site.

The company sold around 12 tonnes of elephant tasks and fashioned pieces of ivory through its Japanese online auction site from 2012 to 2014, affirmed the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), in Washington DC. This triggered reactions from the activist network Avaaz to launch a petition which was signed by more than 1 million people.

The agency also said that although, Japan is highlighted as model of domestic ivory control, the country’s system is devastated by loopholes which are  because of its weak legislation. Thus, it is not possible to control the trade at even the basic level. There is a rise in the volume of ivory trade and illegal activities are in rampant.

The petition issued by Avaaz read, “As global citizens, we are appalled that you allow ivory to be sold on your site/platform, fuelling elephant extinction. Major brands like Google and Amazon now responsibly refuse to take part in this bloody trade. We call on you to urgently stop all ivory sales from sites/platforms in Japan and all other markets.”

Avaaz’s site also stated that Yahoo was one of the few markets which was  continuing with the trade. It also affirmed that it could change that decision and stated that it might “threaten to lift the lid on Yahoo’s bloody secret.”

Meanwhile, BBC has reported that the company confirmed that it barred the sale of raw ivory, which violate the international treaty of 1989. Even so, it also stated that ivory ornaments produced before that date was sold on the site.

“Since there is a chance some sales may be illegal we are strengthening our policies. If we find a sale was illegal we cancel it straight away,” said Takako Kaminago of Yahoo Japan’s public relations office. She added, “We ‘patrol’ 24 hours a day.”

Yahoo Inc’s statement read that they “understand the concerns raised by this campaign…Yahoo, Inc. is an investor in Yahoo Japan and does not have controlling ownership. As such, Yahoo Japan determines their own policies…”

Nevertheless, it can be concluded that there should be strict laws to prevent such trade in future in the country.