Tell Etsy.com to stop treating endangered animals as products!
Tell Etsy to ban all listings containing parts of endangered animals from their site, regardless of legal status!
As we've recently learned from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services*, it is not only illegal to sell any products made from endangered animals, including “vintage” items, to a buyer in another state, it's also prohibited under the Endangered Species Act to offer such products for sale in another state, including on a website like Etsy.
Etsy's existing policies ban "illegal animal products" from their site. However, they don’t provide any details on what this entails. As they are offered for sale across state lines, many of the so-called “pre-ban” items made with parts of endangered animals currently for sale on Etsy appear to be listed illegally. Others, in particular the hundreds of items containing ivory, may or may not be illegal, depending on their provenance. As it is often difficult for sellers or buyers to assess where a particular item is from and when it was made, it’s next to impossible to determine if it can be legally sold even within the borders of a state.
Etsy’s lack of a clear policy prohibiting ALL products made with parts of endangered animals not only leaves the site vulnerable to being exploited as an outlet for illegally poached products from endangered animals, it also puts sellers and buyers at risk, potentially leaving them open to legal repercussions.
We've informed Etsy about the new information we've received from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and reaffirmed our request that they step up and close the door on the trade of parts of endangered animals once and for all.
*Excerpt from the US Fish & Wildlife Services' email:
Section 1538 (a) (1) (F) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits the sale or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce of any endangered species.
You can view the text of the ESA on our website at: http://www.fws.gov/le/USStatutes/ESA.pdf]
Original post, 5/29/13:
As Sibylle Noras from the Snow Leopard Network first reported on her blog, the world’s leading craft marketplace, Etsy.com, is complicit in selling endangered animal products including snow leopard fur!
Among the products listed on the site
right now is was a woman’s coat advertised with “genuine real snow leopard fur” collar. [update 5/31: the listing has been updated and no longer mentions snow leopard fur. It remains active though]
Since the coat is “vintage”, it can be legally sold within state borders. [update 5/31: offering it for sale across state lines, including on Etsy, appears to be illegal though.]
However, we believe that Etsy should follow the lead of online retailers such as Ebay, Amazon or iOffer and adopt a policy banning any product made with parts of endangered animals from their site altogether – regardless of legal issues.
Sign our petition on Care2.com and tell Etsy.com to stop treating endangered species as products!