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EBay urged to halt guided trophy hunt auctions

February 13, 2009 |  2:57 pm

A grizzly bear passing through a meadow.

*Updated with an official response statement from an eBay spokesperson

Some North American wildlife advocacy groups are urging eBay to ban the posting of certain guided trophy hunts currently available on the online auction site. Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Raincoast Conservation and Big Wildlife sent correspondence to eBay CEO John Donahoe requesting that posting of hunting auctions for such big predators as bears, wolves and mountain lions no longer be allowed. 

"Few eBay users are aware the company also auctions off the lives of some of our planet's most magnificent animals," said Big Wildlife communications director Brian Vincent. "eBay has become an online marketplace peddling the slaughter of wolves, bears and cougars."

A search on eBay this morning came up with opportunities to "Buy Now" or bid on guided hunts of grizzly, black and brown bears, mountain lions and wolves as well as numerous species of hooved mammals and birds. Interestingly, the site does not allow for the sale of products such as teeth, claws and rugs from certain animals, including those of bear and mountain lion.

“Have the lives of Canada’s grizzly bears, wolves and other large carnivores become so cheapened by the purveyors of trophy hunting that selling an opportunity to kill one is now as commonplace as trying to unload a kitchen appliance or baseball cards on EBay?” said Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation.

eBay has altered listings policies in the past. Last year, the company announced a global ban on the sale of ivory products on their site after an International Fund for Animal Welfare report revealed that these auctions were encouraging the poaching of ivory-bearing animals.

Following is a response statement received this afternoon from an eBay spokesperson:

We look forward to reviewing the communication sent to us by Big Wildlife, Raincoast Conservation, and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance in regards to the sale of guided trophy hunts, and are in the process of opening a dialogue with them to understand their most recent concerns.

eBay strictly forbids the sale of any illegal items or services on all of its platforms and there are specific policies in place that enforce this.

eBay is a unique global online marketplace and our international team of legal and policy experts constantly review, refresh and streamline our policies closely collaborating with international and domestic law enforcement authorities, regulatory agencies, non-governmental organizations and our community of buyers and sellers.

We are always open to working with NGOs with expertise in these areas and have done so in the past to fine tune our policies regarding issues such as the sale of ivory and the sale of “canned hunts,” or those that guarantee the killing of a specific animal.

eBay.com’s full Animal and Wildlife Policy is available here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/wildlife.html, and the recent policy clarification regarding the sale of “canned hunts” is available here: http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200610241757352.html.

--Kelly Burgess

Photo: A grizzly bear passing through a meadow. Credit: Jim Peaco/Associated Press