News

Fur sale listing guidelines

Trade Me only allows the sale of fur under certain situations.

By Trust and Safety 20 December 2020

The sale of fur products is a hot topic.

Despite it being legal to sell, some retailers in New Zealand have made the ethical choice not to sell genuine fur products.

Internationally, there are massive brands getting behind this movement. Here is some further information on the programme.

The main thrust of the anti-fur movement is the cruelty associated with harvesting fur.

There are some pretty graphic websites out there detailing how in some jurisdictions animals are skinned alive or otherwise treated in a manner that we would not want happening in New Zealand and which would be illegal under the Animal Welfare Act if they occurred here.

However, it is not simply a matter of banning the sale of all fur products - if it were that easy!

It is illegal to sell fur products in New Zealand if the fur has come from an endangered species covered by CITES - some notable examples of furry CITES critters include the irrepressibly ginger Ailurus fulgens and everyone's favourite ginger lord of the trees Pongo abelii.

CITES is a vital piece of international law which New Zealand has ratified. It came into force under our domestic law on 8 August 1989.

However, if an animal is not a protected species under CITES, there is no restriction on trading in that animal's fur.

There is also a legitimate market in some types of fur in New Zealand and consequently on the site. This market does not raise animal welfare concerns, for example, a pair of possum fur gloves, or a nice rabbit skin hat.

If these are from domestic sources, the fur has (at least in theory) been harvested in a humane manner in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act.

There is also a whole heap of faux or synthetic fur out there – which we think actually reflects the fact that consumers are actively avoiding genuine fur as part of their buying habits.

In order to wade through this mire of emotion and law and to recognise that not all fur is bad fur, we have come up with the following policy.

Fur guidelines policy - is part of our Banned and Restricted list:

Trade Me’s existing prohibition of any products sourced from a CITES listed species remains.

  1. Any new item featuring fur sourced from a non-domestic source (like a fox, coyotte, bear or cougar) is banned.
  2. Any second-hand item from a non-CITES listed species can be sold. These are likely to be things like older vintage jackets and hats etc - the rationale for allowing second-hand items is that the trade in second hand goods does not promote the on-going killing of animals for their fur.
  3. Domestically produced fur items can be sold as fur was harvested within the ambit of the Animal Welfare Act. We are really talking about possums, ferrets and rabbits here, but there may be new items that come on the radar as time goes on.

To be clear, this policy does not include animal skins or taxidermy.

Please refer any animal welfare issues to Trade Me via the Community Watch.