The Latest: Etsy says policy bans Alaska Native ivory sales

February 06, 2018 - 7:20 pm
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on online sales site Etsy terminating the accounts of some Alaska Native artists (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

The online sales website Etsy says it no longer allows Alaska Natives to sell such animal products as ivory.

The company made the comments in response to criticism prompted by the removal of such items from accounts held by Alaska Native artists who have been selling ivory and other animal parts that Etsy says are prohibited from the site.

The company says in an email it has updated its policies to reflect the global nature of its business and says the artists' accounts remain active.

Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan asked Etsy's chief executive officer to reconsider the policy and allow Alaska Natives to continue to sell products made from walrus tusks or from petrified wooly mammoth remains found in the state.

Those items can legally be sold by Alaska Natives.

Sullivan spokesman Matt Shuckerow says Etsy has not responded to Sullivan's letter.

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This item has been corrected to show that accounts of Alaska Native artists have had ivory items removed, not that the accounts were canceled.

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12:35 p.m.

A policy aimed at protecting against the illegal ivory trade has prompted an online sales website to remove such items from accounts held by Alaska Native artists who can legally use ivory in their artwork.

Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan asked the chief executive officer of Etsy to reconsider its policy to allow Alaska Natives to continue to sell products made from walrus tusks or from petrified wooly mammoth remains found in the nation's most remote state.

Sullivan spokesman Matt Shuckerow says Etsy has not responded to a letter sent Friday to the Brooklyn, New York-based company. Etsy representatives did not immediately respond to requests from The Associated Press on Monday for comment.

Shuckerow says Sullivan heard about the issue from Alaska Native leaders.

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This item has been corrected to show that accounts of Alaska Native artists have had ivory items removed, not that the accounts were canceled.

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