After discovering snow leopard fur and other endangered animal parts for sale last month I contacted Etsy.com asking them to change their policy and remove the listings. Unfortunately they said it wasn’t their problem. But my friends and colleagues at the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) and the global snow leopard conservation thought otherwise.
The SLT started a petition calling for Etsy.com to address their disturbing online marketplace for endangered animal parts.
Now over 32,000 people from 55 plus countries have signed the petition and this week Etsy Ceo Chad Dickerson has made tentative steps towards a policy change.
According to the Snow Leopard Trust “Etsy’s CEO, Chad Dickerson, has reached out to the Snow Leopard Trust to inform us that they are aware of the issue and have contacted the US Fish & Wildlife Services to gain a better understanding of the situation.
Brad Rutherford, Executive Director of the Trust says “We’re happy to see that Etsy HQ has taken this first step, which will hopefully lead to them adopting wildlife-friendly policies that will keep endangered animal products off this thriving marketplace – for the benefit of wildlife and the Etsy community.
For now, however, there remain hundreds of illegal listings for pre-ban leopard fur, rhino horn and other endangered animal parts on Etsy.com- and so we’re eagerly awaiting more concrete steps from Etsy HQ to address this disappointing situation.
We will remain in contact with Etsy HQ and the US Fish & Wildlife Services and have offered to help with the development of policies if it would be helpful. We will also continue to monitor the endangered species products listed on Etsy.com to see if there is any short-term progress.”
Thanks to Brad and everyone at the Trust who have worked so hard to make this story known to Etsy supporters and sellers and buyers. Etsy is a remarkable marketplace and I look forward to the company doing what their community wants them to do – stop listing endangered animal parts. It is not OK.