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Animals and wildlife products policy
In this article
In this article

Policy overview

You can sell a few types of animals and wildlife products, though there are some things you can't list on eBay because of complex government regulations and various laws both in the US 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, shipping restrictions, and applicable laws. You also need to check whether selling or shipping these items requires a license, permit, or other paperwork.

Make sure your listing follows these guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Though pets and most other live animals can't be listed, there are few types that you can sell. But before listing these items on eBay, sellers need to:
  • Get the necessary federal and state permits.

  • Guarantee that the animals will be shipped safely and sent by overnight shipping.

Restricted 

Restricted

  • Crickets, worms, or other herbivorous insects as long as they're intended to be used for bait or food for pets

  • Hatching eggs from some animals—for example, chicken eggs—as long as they're shipped only within the US. However, hatching eggs from endangered species, migratory birds, snakes, or turtles aren't allowed.

  • Shellfish, such as crabs and lobsters, only if they're to be used as food

  • Snails or slugs, but only those that are known as domestic aquatic snails and the following 5 types that you can eat (usually called escargot):

    • Helix aperta or Cantareus apertus (usually called burrowing snails)

    • Helix aspersa or Cryptomphalus aspersus (usually called small grey snails)

    • Helix pomatia (usually called apple snails, Burgundy snails, lunar snails, or Roman snails)

    • Otala lactea or Helix lactea (usually called milk snails, Spanish snails, or vineyard snails)

    • Otala vermiculata or Eobania vermiculata (usually called vinyala, mongeta, or xona)

    Before listing escargot, be sure to get the proper permits for selling and shipping snails. If you're importing food products into the US, they have to go through inspection at JFK airport in New York.

  • Tropical fish. Be sure to check whether permits are required.

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Animals that aren't listed above, such as:

    • Migratory birds, including cranes, ducks, eagles, geese, hawks, hummingbirds, owls, shorebirds, seabirds, songbirds, and wading birds. See the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for a complete list of protected birds.

    • Noxious insects

    • Pets

    • Sharks, including small aquarium sharks

Restricted

Restricted

  • Non-endangered animal pelt or skin. This includes things made from certain types of zebras and coyotes. When listing these items, be sure to:

    • Contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and file declarations on all non-domesticated animal products.

    • State the species in your listing description.

    • Follow applicable laws.

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Any part, pelt, or skin from an endangered species. Examples include but are not limited to: elephants, rhinoceros, and tigers.

  • The sale of pelts or items which include the fur from cats or dogs.

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

Allowed

Allowed

  • Fish traps

  • Live traps

  • Mouse traps

  • Other humane traps

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Bear traps (regardless of size)

  • Steel jaw leghold traps with a spread of 5½ inches or greater with teeth or without offset jaws

Restricted 

Restricted

  • Hunting or fishing trips as long as sellers meet all of these requirements:

    • Sellers either need to provide the necessary licenses and permits for their buyers, or tell buyers to obtain them beforehand. You'll need to be clear about this information in your listing description.

    • Follow local laws and regulations on hunting or fishing activities, including hunting in approved areas and weapon restrictions.

    • There can't be a guarantee of a successful hunt.

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Canned hunts (usually involving fenced-in animals) aren't allowed because they guarantee a successful hunt. We consider this a form of selling live animals, which is prohibited on eBay.

Though there 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. You can find additional information about ivory laws below.

Restricted 

Restricted

  • Antiques that contain 5 percent or less of real ivory and were made before the year 1900–for example:

    • Musical instruments with ivory keys, such as a flute, a piano, or a trumpet

    • Furniture with ivory inlay or ivory drawer handles, such as a cabinet, a hutch, or a desk

      When selling these items:

    • Include a picture of the item in your listing

    • Specify the exact year the item was made and include the info in your listing description

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

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

Not allowed

Not allowed

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

  • Carved and uncarved ivory

  • Fossilized ivory

  • Manufactured items with more than 5 percent of actual ivory such as:

    • Canes

    • Chess pieces

    • Figurines

    • Jewelry

    • Scrimshaw

  • Raw ivory

Restricted

Restricted

  • Authentic Alaskan Native clothing or crafts made from marine mammals like sea otters or seals, although the items can't contain any ivory. Be sure to specify these details in your listing description.

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Items made from marine mammals regardless of when the product was made

Before selling certain types of stuffed birds, mounted birds, or other bird specimens, be sure to check whether licenses or permits are required.

Allowed

Allowed

  • Mounted Mallard ducks or other waterfowl that were captive-bred

  • Eggs, feathers, parts, or specimens from captive-bred game birds such as a grouse, pheasant, quail, or turkey

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Migratory bird eggs, feathers, nests, parts, or specimens. Examples of birds include cranes, ducks, eagles, geese, hawks, hummingbirds, owls, shorebirds, seabirds, songbirds, and wading birds. See the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for a complete list of protected birds.

  • Native American items with feathers or other parts of protected birds.

Restricted

Restricted

  • Manufactured turtle or tortoise shell products from non-endangered species. Be sure to specify the species in your listing description.

  • Tortoise shell–colored items (such as combs, eyewear, handbags, jewelry pocket knives, and shoes) made of plastic or another man-made material. Be sure to specify what the item is made of in your listing description.

Not allowed

Not allowed

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Bear products such as rugs, as well as bear parts—including those from polar bears—such as claws, gall bladders, or teeth. Alaskan Native clothing or crafts with anything from a bear also can't be listed.

Additional information

California laws
There are restrictions on the sale of items made from parts of some non-protected animals, including alligators, crocodiles, elephants, and zebras. If you live in California, be sure to review and follow the guidelines in the California Penal Code Section 639-653.2 before selling these items.

CITES
Animals that aren't threatened or endangered may still be regulated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Animals protected under CITES require permits to cross international borders. This includes many butterflies and some beetles that are included in dried insect display mounts (see the CITES list of species), and may require USFWS Form 3-200-3.

Ivory and wildlife laws
The sale of ivory and other wildlife products involves many complex laws and regulations both in the US and internationally. Individual states, including California, also regulate the sale of ivory and wildlife products. Here are some of the applicable laws:

  • Endangered Species: U.S. Code Title 16, 1531-1544

    Generally prohibits the import, export, possession, and sale of animals that are considered endangered or threatened in interstate or foreign commerce. This includes the CITES statutory implementation.

For more information on ivory and endangered animals, see the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) website and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) site.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
There are federal and international laws involving the sale, import, and export of all wildlife. Federal laws require anyone who wants to import wildlife or wildlife products into the US or export these items from the US to first get the necessary license from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

You'll need to apply for the license by filling out the Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife (Form 3-177).

All wildlife and wildlife products have to be declared to the USFWS for inspection before import or export, and they have to be processed only through designated USFWS ports. If these rules aren't met, it may result in criminal prosecution. For more information, contact your nearest USFWS port.

If you have questions about endangered animals, migratory birds, endangered marine life, live insects or mollusks, and other wildlife, contact the USFWS law enforcement office, the USDA animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or your state's wildlife regulatory agency.

Why does eBay have this policy?

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

Contact Customer Service
You can contact Customer Service to report a listing you think violates this policy. Go to that listing, and then click the Report item link on the right side of the page.

We'll review your report and take appropriate action.
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