If animal advocates have anything to say about it, appalling eBay auctions like this one will be history.
Several advocacy groups in Canada and the US are asking the online-auction giant to ban the posting of certain guided trophy hunts. The Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Big Wildlife and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation have sent a letter to eBay CEO John Donahoe requesting that the posting of hunting auctions for such animals as bears, wolves and mountain lions no longer be allowed.
“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?” asked Chris Genovali, executive director of the British Columbia-based Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
“Few eBay users are aware the company also auctions off the lives of some of our planet’s most magnificent animals,” added Oregon-based Big Wildlife communications director Brian Vincent. “EBay has become an online marketplace peddling the slaughter of wolves, bears and cougars.”
Protecting wildlife from humans is no easy task. Grizzly and brown bears in Alaska and British Columbia, for example, face habitat loss from industrial logging, mining, energy development and urban sprawl and death from trophy hunting, poaching and international trade in bear parts. Though grizzlies are protected under the US Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states, trophy hunters in Alaska and Canada are free to target the animals.
“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,” reads a statement from eBay. “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.”
Last year, following an International Fund for Animal Welfare report that revealed eBay was helping to fuel illegal trade in wildlife products, the company announced a global ban on sales of ivory products. After working with the Humane Society of the United States, eBay has also discontinued auctions for canned hunts.