Trophy-hunt packages will remain on eBay

Conservationists vow to continue campaign to stop postings of hunts

Judith Lavoie
May 2, 2009

eBay is not ready to ban sales of trophy hunts on its popular buy-and-sell website, despite pressure from environmental groups. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation, based on Vancouver Island, has been a leader of the campaign to stop eBay from posting guided trophy hunts of large predators.

Listed hunts, from leopards to wolves, include bear and cougar hunts on Vancouver Island and grizzly bear hunts on the B.C. mainland.

“Trophy hunting of large carnivores is unethical and puts these species at risk,” said Chris Genovali, Raincoast executive director.

But yesterday, the wildlife groups received a letter from eBay vice-president Tod Cohen saying there will be no restrictions.

“Our general rule is that, if an item can be sold legally off eBay, it can be sold on eBay,” he said.

The company already prohibits sale of items such as ivory, bear parts, illegal traps and live animals, the letter says.

Cohen noted that the company worked with the U.S. Humane Society a few years ago to ban the canned-hunt experience, where there is a guarantee of a successful hunt involving a fenced-in animal.

But he added the fact that government agencies with jurisdiction over trophy hunts have chosen not to prohibit them is a key factor in its decision not to ban the sale of such services.

Genovali said the response is disappointing and the campaign will be escalated. Just because something is legal does not make it ethical, he said.

“Have the lives of Canada’s grizzly bears, wolves and other large carnivores become so cheapened … that selling an opportunity to kill one is now as commonplace as trying to unload a used kitchen appliance or an autographed baseball?”

Brian Vincent of the Oregon-based conservation group Big Wildlife said most people find it offensive to pursue frightened animals with hounds and then blast them out of a tree for the sake of a fur furniture throw.

The disappearance of top carnivores triggers the loss of other species, he said.

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