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Etsy bans items made from endangered animals

Though the decision upsets some members of the community, most of the commenters were pleased by the new policy, which protects cheetahs, eagles, lemurs, and more.


Kris Holt


Posted on Jul 24, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 10:49 am CDT

Etsy has banned items made from a number of animals, including endangered and threatened species, through the marketplace.

The community now prohibits the sale of items made from the following animals:

  • Bear
  • Cheetah
  • Chimpanzee
  • Chinchilla
  • Elkhorn and Staghorn Coral
  • Cougar
  • Eagle
  • Elephant
  • Gorilla
  • Jaguar
  • Lemur
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Lynx
  • Monkey
  • Ocelot
  • Rhinoceros
  • Seal
  • Sea lion
  • Tiger
  • Wallaby
  • Whale
  • Zebra

Also banned are items from species deemed threatened or endangered by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The full list is available at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.

Etsy’s updated policy bans items and materials including fur, ivory, teeth, bones, and taxidermied animals. Both new and vintage items made from those animals are disallowed, whether or not those trying to sell them have permits allowing them to do so. 

There is an exception for Native Alaskans “who use traditional subsistence methods,” Etsy said in a blog post. Those artists can continue selling “items made from animal materials as long as they adhere to applicable U.S. laws.” The restrictions apply to all other Etsy members, including those based outside of the U.S.

Etsy says its team is getting in touch with those whose listings are affected by the change and will remove listings where necessary. 

Among those likely to be affected is LiveJournal‘s Fur, Hide, and Bone community, which runs an Etsy team selling taxidermied items and other animal products. 

Etsy hinted in its post that some are likely to be upset by the move, noting all “policy decisions are complex.” However, the mood in the discussion thread for the policy shift seemed to be a happy one. 

“Spaz (my chinchilla) did a happy dance when he heard that his fur has been banned,” wrote Robyn Mazza.

“I’ve noticed an insane amount of illegal products here on etsy and its such a relief to see you guys doing a great part to combat wildlife exploitation!” a delighted Catherine Yasuda exclaimed.

Though some questioned the ban on vintage items, Etsy said “the risk that the legal status of these items may be unknown or mislabeled is too great, and the continued sale of these items stands to perpetuate market demand and further jeopardize the existence of these species.”

Many suggested Etsy could do more to crack down on the sale of items containing animal parts. As it stands, halting the trade of many such items has struck a chord in the Etsy community. 

Photo via ArksAndAnimals/Etsy

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*First Published: Jul 24, 2013, 9:28 am CDT