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Animals and wildlife products policy

Policy overview

You can sell a few types of animals and wildlife products, though there are some things that can't be listed on eBay because of complex government regulations and various laws both in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Check out the list of items below to find out what you can and can't sell on eBay. If an item is allowed or restricted, be sure to follow our guidelines, postage restrictions, and applicable laws. You also need to check if selling or posting these items requires a license, permit, or other paperwork.

Make sure your listing follows our guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted.

What are the guidelines?

Though pets and most other live animals can't be listed, there are few types that you can sell.

Restricted

  • The sales of the following animals are permitted, provided that the seller guarantees in the listing that the animals will be packaged safely and posted via next-day delivery.

    • Live bait (minnows, shiners, earth worms, and meal worms)

    • Composting worms

    • Live insects, crickets used as bait or feeder food for pets

    • Shellfish, such as crabs and lobsters, that are live when sold but intended for human consumption

    • Aquarium or pond fish (up to 5cm long), snails, tadpoles or similar creatures. Aquarium or pond fish longer than 5cm may be listed with the 'Collection in person' option

  • Hatching eggs for some animals are permitted provided the seller offers domestic-only next-day delivery within the UK and Ireland. However, hatching eggs from endangered or threatened species, migratory or wild birds, snakes, or turtles aren't allowed.

Not allowed

  • Sales of other animals not listed in the exceptions above, including Pomacea snails

eBay prohibits the sale of endangered or threatened species globally. In addition, many native animal species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in the UK and the Wildlife Acts 1976-2000 in Ireland. Some rare native and many non-native species are protected under the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

Allowed

  • Animal pelts from non-endangered or threatened species (except cats or dogs) may generally be listed on eBay if not in breach of local laws.

  • Faux or reproductions of animal products can be sold. State in the title of your listing if you are selling a faux, synthetic or reproduction of an animal product.

Restricted

  • For species not on the endangered or threatened list, the following restrictions apply:

    • No animal or part of an animal of a species listed in Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, or the Schedules to the Wildlife Acts 1976-2000, may be listed on eBay unless the seller can produce documentary evidence confirming that they have not been taken from the wild illegally.

    • No animal or part of an animal of a species listed on Annex A of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations may be sold on eBay unless accompanied by an Article 10 certificate as issued by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), or the Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

    • Listings for any part, pelt or skin from an animal listed on the CITES Appendix II cannot offer international delivery.

  • Skins, hides and rugs are generally permitted on eBay, subject to the limitations above.

Not allowed

  • Any part, pelt, or skin from endangered or threatened species or any species listed on the CITES Appendix I Examples include (but aren't limited to): elephants, rhinoceros, and tigers.

  • Internal animal organs (e.g. bear gall bladders).

  • Pelt, fur, or any item made from cats or dogs.

  • Any animal bodily fluids or faeces.

Most animal traps are okay to sell, although certain types are illegal. Here are some examples:

Allowed

  • Fish traps

  • Live traps

  • Mouse traps

  • Other humane traps

Restricted

  • Glue traps intended for insects are allowed to be listed on the site however glue traps intended for animals such as rats or mice are not permitted.

Not allowed

  • Traps not included in the exceptions above

  • Snares

  • Gin traps

Though there are a few exceptions, most ivory products can't be offered on eBay because of various international trade restrictions and treaties banning the sale of these items.
Please note that all types of ivory are affected, including prehistoric ivory as well as ivory products that have been obtained legally through appropriate channels. Some examples include:
  • Elephant

  • Hippopotamus

  • Walrus

  • Mammoth

  • Narwhal

Several international organisations also provide information about the trade of ivory products that may be helpful, such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

 

Restricted

  • Cultured, man-made, or vegetable ivory as long as the listing description specifies what the item is made of

  • French Ivory items are allowed on the site, but your listing must clearly state that the item is French Ivory and not actual animal ivory

  • Bone from non-ivory-producing animals (such as bison, buffalo, and oxen) as long as the species is clearly stated in the listing description

  • Fossilized mammoth teeth or bone as long as they are listed in the Fossils category. Fossilized mammoth tusks are still prohibited.

Not allowed

  • Items made from ivory

  • Bone from animals that produce ivory, including elephants, walruses, and whales

  • Fossilized ivory or mammoth tusk

eBay urges its sellers and buyers to comply with all laws and regulations. Since the sale of migratory birds is in most cases prohibited, sellers are restricted in their listing of them on eBay. All native UK birds, along with their nests and eggs, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Similar provisions are to be found in Irish law under the Wildlife Acts, 1976-2000. Many rare native and non-native bird species are also protected under the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. 

Allowed

  • Stuffed domestic farm birds like chickens or ducks

 

Restricted

  • For species not on the endangered or threatened list, the following restrictions apply:

    • No native birds may be listed on eBay unless members can produce documentary evidence confirming that they have not been taken from the wild illegally, and this evidence is included in the listing. A list of native bird species can be found on the British Ornithologists' Union's website.

    • No bird species listed on Annex A of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations may be listed on eBay unless accompanied by an Article 10 certificate issued by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), or the Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Read more about the species on the Annexes

 

Not allowed

  • Any eggs from wild birds cannot be sold, regardless of age or condition.

Restricted

  • Tortoise shell-coloured items (such as combs, eyewear, handbags, and shoes) made of plastic or another man-made material are permitted but the listing must clearly indicate the item is not made of genuine tortoise shell.

Not allowed

  • Items made, in whole or in part, from any part of sea turtles, regardless of age of the item (e.g. guitar picks, jewellery, jewellery boxes, hair combs)

  • Items that appear to be made from genuine sea turtle shell are not permitted

Sales abroad

Export restrictions apply to items made from, or containing, the parts of species listed on Annex A or B of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. Any such item which is sent to a buyer outside the EU must be accompanied by an export permit as issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), or the Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

Certificates and permits

Applications for Article 10 certificates should be submitted to Defra, or the Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Export permits can also be obtained from Defra. Read more about information on licensing and application forms for Article 10 certificates and export permits.

Please state in your item listing whether you are in possession of an Article 10 certificate if it is required. Find out more about Ireland's licensing and permit rules.

Labelling requirements

If you are listing products that contain parts of animal origin, please ensure you follow EU regulations on the labelling or marking of such products. Please see EU Regulation No 1007/2011, including Article 12, for more information.

We're doing what we can to protect native, endangered and threatened species. And we're also following laws, government regulations, and international treaties on animals and wildlife. Be sure to review our guidelines and follow applicable laws before listing these items.

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