4 min article

Animals and wildlife products policy

Our animals and wildlife products policy reflects our commitment to animal welfare and the protection of native, endangered, and threatened species.

Please read our full policy guidelines below to see what animal products can be bought and sold on eBay. If you see a listing that you believe violates our policies, please report it to us.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I buy a pet on eBay?

No. Although you can buy some animal and wildlife products on eBay, pets and other live animals are not allowed to be listed for sale on our site.

What animal and wildlife items can I sell on eBay?

You can list certain animal and wildlife products on eBay such as faux or reproductions of animal products.

If an item is allowed or restricted, be sure to follow our guidelines, shipping restrictions, and applicable laws. There are more details of what can be listed in this category in our full policy below.

You should also check whether selling or shipping these items requires a license, permit, or other paperwork.

Can I sell ivory on eBay?

No. eBay prohibits the sale of ivory on all of its global sites.

Read our full policy

Animals and wildlife products 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?

Animals

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
  • Composting worms
  • Hatching eggs from some animals—for example, chicken eggs—as long as they're shipped only within the US. However, hatching eggs from endangered or threatened species - opens in new window or tab, migratory birds - opens in new window or tab, snakes, or turtles aren't allowed. See the US Department of Agriculture site - opens in new window or tab for restrictions on importing hatching eggs.
  • 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 - opens in new window or tab):
    • 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 - opens in new window or tab, 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
 

Animal parts, pelt or skin

Restricted Restricted
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Any part, pelt or skin from endangered or threatened species or any species listed on CITES Appendix I. Examples include (but are not limited to): elephants, rhinoceroses, and tigers.
  • The sale of pelts or items which include the fur from domesticated cats or dogs.
 

Animal traps

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
 

Flora

eBay prohibits the sale of endangered plants globally. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulates the import, (re)export, sale or movement of endangered wild animals and plants. Appendices I, II and III - opens in new window or tab to the Convention are lists of species afforded different levels or types of protection from over-exploitation (see How CITES works - opens in new window or tab).

Allowed Allowed
  • Flora from non-endangered or threatened species may generally be listed on eBay if not in breach of local laws or eBay's Plants and seeds policy
  • Artificially propagated plants
 
Restricted Restricted
  • International trade in specimens of Appendix II species may be authorized if an export permit or re-export certificate is granted
    Examples: Cristobal, palisander, rosewood, sandalwood, fire corals, almost all orchids, cacti
 
Not allowed Not allowed
 

Hunting or fishing expeditions

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.
 

Ivory or bone

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
  • 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
  • Fossilized mammoth teeth or bone as long as they are listed in the Fossils category. Fossilized mammoth tusks are still prohibited.
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Items made from ivory
  • Bone from animals that produce ivory, including elephants, walruses, and whales
  • Fossilized ivory or mammoth tusk
 

Marine mammal items

Restricted Restricted
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Items made from marine mammals regardless of when the product was made
 

Stuffed birds

Before selling certain types of stuffed birds, mounted birds, or other bird specimens, make sure you check whether licenses or permits are required - opens in new window or tab.

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
 

Turtle or tortoise shell items

Restricted Restricted
  • Manufactured turtle or tortoise shell products from non-endangered or threatened 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
 

Other wildlife items that can't be listed

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Animal organs, or animal corpses that contain organs
  • 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, and zebras. If you live in California, be sure to review and follow the guidelines in the California Penal Code Section 639-653.2 - opens in new window or tab 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 - opens in new window or tab (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 - opens in new window or tab), and may require USFWS Form 3-200-3 - opens in new window or tab.

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:

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.

Generally restricts the import and export of African Elephant ivory.

Generally prohibits the import, export, transport, and sale of fish or wildlife that are taken or acquired in violation of state, federal, Indian Tribal, or foreign wildlife laws.

For more information on ivory and endangered animals, see the International Fund for Animal Welfare - opens in new window or tab (IFAW) website and the World Wildlife Fund - opens in new window or tab (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 - opens in new window or tab (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) - opens in new window or tab.

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 - opens in new window or tab.

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

Labeling requirements

If you are listing apparel products that contain animal parts, please ensure you follow Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations - opens in new window or tab on labeling requirements.

Why does eBay have this policy?

We do what we can to protect endangered and threatened 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.

In addition, eBay is a partner of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, a coalition of nonprofits, companies, foundations and media organizations that have pledged to work with the U.S. government to raise public awareness and end demand for illegal wildlife products. To learn more about this important issue and #BuyInformed, please visit www.uswta.org/BuyInformed - opens in new window or tab.

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