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Policy Update: Prohibited Animal Products

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Very interesting!
Great news!

I think this should be taken one step further.

Not many people realize that the Migratory Bird Act (between the USA and Canada) protects all parts of just about every species of migratory bird. That includes feathers, eggs, nests, etc.

A common bird may not be endangered or threatened, but still protected under the Migratory Bird Act.

I've seen a lot of feathers on here that are not allowed. I think some wording about that act would be a helpful reminder - it doesn't have to be endangered to be protected by law!
I agree, Brigette. This would be a next logical step. Possession of any of the things you listed requires a permit in Canada and they are quite careful about who receives them. In nearly all circumstances, you are not allowed to SELL these things. Perhaps the Policy Team could investigate the MBA and add to this policy.
Yup, I posted about this as well.
I find it frustrating just how many protected bird parts I see being sold here. Specifically Crow. Hopefully Etsy will start enforcing the MBTA. Its getting a little out of hand.
Is Etsy only prohibiting the sale of animals on the list? What about plants?
I can't seem to find an actual list of these animals. I assume that if an animal is not endangered, it's still ok to use their leather/fur, etc.?


Here's the list.
Nope! That's one of the issues with only mentioning the endangered species act - there are many other animals (and plants) that are protected by law but not endangered.

For example you cannot collect or sell feathers from any migratory bird in the US and Canada
Other species are protected by federal law in addition to threatened and endangered species. For example, migratory birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Act and it is illegal to possess them, their nest, eggs, or any part of the bird.

Etsy did not appear to prohibit these items, but they are illegal.
Lesie I was just making sure leather work, etc. is still ok. Seeings as it's part of my business, and is NOT illegal. I don't use or have feathers, eggs, etc. Well our chickens will be laying some eggs soon, but I'm sure that's ok should I decide to use their eggs for crafts. Lol..

I am glad to see the sale of prohibited animals stopped.
Definitely good to check. I wasn't trying to say that leather was not okay, just stating that technically other animals besides T and E's are protected. Chickens are fine because they are farm animals. So are game animals as long as people have a hunting license.
The federal list linked to is very, very long. I just looked at the first three letters of the alphabet and found white abalone, alligator, and crocodile. There are many listings, both vintage and modern, for just those three.
How can alligator be illegal, when there are so many of them people are allowed to hunt and sell them?
I don't know, but the American alligator is on the list so I would assume its skin cannot be sold here on Etsy and all listings for alligator shoes, handbags, wallets, belts, etc. will need to be removed.
What I read yesterday is that crocodiles are really the ones that are endangered - alligators are protected also because of their close similarity. It could be hard to tell the difference between a crocodile product and an alligator product in the market. Not sure if this is true, but that is what I read!
Stephanie is correct. American Alligator is listed as SAT which stands for Similarity of Appearance (Threatened). It is legal to kill them and make products from them. But you have to have special permits which I guess allows them to monitor your activities to make sure you are only using alligators, not crocodiles.
When I was working for the Florida Park Service, my boss gave me an alligator tooth from a carcass they found in the park. I was hoping to use it as a pendant in a necklace to sell on Etsy, but now I know I can't do that.
How can alligator be illegal, when there are so many of them people are allowed to hunt and sell them?
Those people have permits, they are selling farm-raised gators, or they are selling illegally. Some local populations may be healthy enough to allow hunting. Others are not. Some populations are suffering terribly from chemicals that interfere with reproduction. Trade in alligator, crocodile and other reptiles as living animals or parts is strictly regulated.
Alligator has a hunting season that is very short. You must have tags and tagsw are limited to so many per person. The farms sell the meat and skin. The hunters in Louisiana and area make their years living on their hunting.
In the US all falcons are federally protected. Migratory birds in the US are all protected by federal law. Many animal parts are hard to pinpoint where they came from.
Here's the key phrase from an USFWS FAQ page:

Wording of the Act makes it very clear that most actions that result in "taking" or possession of a protected species or its parts or products is a violation of the Act. Specifically, the Act states:
"Unless and except as permitted by regulations, …it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means, or in any manner…to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, …possess, offer for sale, sell, …purchase, import…any migratory bird, any part, nest, or eggs of any such bird…"

Rock doves (pigeons) and house sparrows are excepted as are one or two others. But otherwise, it's very clear that in the US (and Canada), trade in these things is prohibited except under special circumstances such as native groups obtaining feather for ceremonial purposes.
If I were selling any remotely exotic animal product, I would also want to be very aware of the CITES list of restricted species which covers international trade. There are some things that absolutely cannot cross borders either at all or without extensive documentation.
Very true. It may be legal to possess an animals or parts of an animal in one country, but illegal for it to cross that country's borders without a CITES permit. Even if it is also legal in that other country.

I have a pet ball python, and I wanted to take her to Canada with me when I went to college. Not without an expensive CITES permit and all sorts of documentation - so she stayed home!
CITES info:

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! and not just that, but going a step above and beyond by extending it to international sellers and species not necessarily under full legal protection yet!

I do have two little things that you ought to add:

1) CITES REGULATIONS- as this applies internationally and domestically to all CITES signed nations. (Banning Appendix I and II species would be absolutely amazing, at least I since there's huge trade restrictions there.

2) MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT for bird species sold out of the USA, Mexico and Canada. (for reasons mentioned above by other members- sale of protected birds is illegal, but most people don't know about this law).

Once again

(though... now I don't know what I'll do with my spare time... I did have fun digging through etsy finding all the contraband illegal items and reporting them to you guys and the authorities, I imagine that will still need to be done, but less so since its now so brilliantly clearly written in the rules).
So many people don't realize that you can't use feathers from birds protected by the migratory bird treaty act even if you just pick them up off the ground.

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