By Alicia Graef
Etsy, the popular online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, has updated its policies to crack down on sales of items made from endangered animals.
Earlier this spring, the Snow Leopard Trust raised concerns about illegal listings for products made with endangered animal parts, which were spurred by an item that was listed as “genuine real snow leopard fur.” After attempting to have their concerns heard by Etsy, they created a Care2 petition that has since gathered more than 33,000 signatures.
It appears to have gotten the company’s attention. According to the Snow Leopard Trust, following the petition’s creation Etsy’s CEO Chad Dickerson reached out to the organization to let them know they were working on the issue. Last week the company announced a formal policy change banning the sale of items made from endangered species which will apply to sellers around the globe, with the exception of Native Alaskans.
“We’re very glad that Etsy is stepping up for wildlife,” said Brad Rutherford, the Snow Leopard Trust’s Executive Director, in a statement. “It’s great to see the company live up to their billing as a mindful and humane business.”
The new restrictions on listings include any items made from animals who are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, which includes the obvious suspects like items made from cheetahs, elephants and rhinos, but also products made from other animals, including chinchillas, whales, bears and seals, among others, and will apply to items or materials such as fur, pelts, ivory, teeth, bones and taxidermied specimens.
The ban also applies to vintage items, which Etsy notes are often referred to as “pre-ban,” “antique” or “vintage” where the rules regarding what can legally be sold get a little trickier. Under CITES pre-ban items can be legally sold or bought under certain conditions, but can’t be sold internationally, while other pre-ban items cannot be sold across state lines. More....