Online retailer Etsy takes a stand in banning sale of ivory, endangered wildlife products

Many people who purchase wildlife parts—or items made from these parts—online don’t realize that their purchases are directly contributing to the demise of many wildlife species, so we thank Etsy for taking a responsible stand to save hundreds of thousands of animals caught up in this violent trade. Kudos to Etsy.com for its decision to prohibit the sale of ivory and all other products made from endangered species!

From the Etsy policy update statement on their blog: "The risk that the legal status of these items may be unknown or mislabeled is too great, and continued sale of these items, though potentially legal, stands to perpetuate market demand and further jeopardize the existence of these species."

This welcome move follows eBay’s 2008 global ban on all ivory trade after the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released its investigative report, Killing with Keystrokes.

It is our understanding that our friends at Snow Leopard Trust had a key role in making this excellent news happen—we thank them for this incredible success!

Now that two of the largest online marketplaces have shut their doors to buyers and sellers of illegal wildlife products, other sites like Craigslist, Google Shopping and Bonanza should heed the example.  

During a recent one-day investigation of these three sites, IFAW found listings for animal skin rugs, live parrots and a wide array of other wildlife parts. Not surprisingly, rhino horn and elephant ivory products ranked high on the list in both supply and price, reflecting the escalating poaching of these animals in Africa to not only meet the rising demand for their parts, but to also fill the pockets of traffickers and crime syndicates embroiled in the illicit wildlife trade—all of this is explored in the latest IFAW investigative report, Criminal Nature.

Many people who purchase wildlife parts—or items made from these parts—online don’t realize that their purchases are directly contributing to the demise of many wildlife species, so we thank Etsy for taking a responsible stand to save hundreds of thousands of animals caught up in this violent trade. Google Shopping, Craigslist and Bonanza – where do you stand?

--TC

Click here to learn more about IFAW's ongoing efforts to stop illegal wildlife trafficking.

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Experts

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Elephant Expert
IFAW Elephant Expert
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia