• eBay has banned all sales of seahorses from its EU sites after being lobbied by a Devon charity
  • The illegal trade in the delicate creatures is fuelled largely by demand from the Chinese medicine industry
  • The Seahorse Trust is now hoping the ban will extend to eBay’s U.S. site

eBay has decided to stop the sale of seahorses from its website following pressure from an animal charity.

The trade in the delicate creatures is fuelled largely by demand from the Chinese medicine industry, but eBay has now put a block on seahorse trafficking on all of its EU sites.

The Seahorse Charity launched its campaign after being alerted to lots ranging from live creatures to ‘hideous’ baskets of dried seahorses listed online.

Neil Garrick-Maidment, director of the charity in Honiton, Devon, said he was ‘delighted’.

‘All seahorses are legally protected and much of the eBay trafficking was illegal under EU and other international regulations,’ he said.

‘The sellers were based all round the world and were dealing with everything from living ones to seahorses entombed in paperweights and hideous baskets full of dried seahorses.’ Millions of seahorses are sold illegally every year, often to be used in Chinese medicines and herbal remedies.

But following the campaign eBay has now banned the sales of all seahorses dead or alive on all its EU sites.

Mike Carson, senior manager of Global Regulatory and Policy Management at eBay, confirmed seahorse sales have been banned on EU sites following calls from the charity.

The Seahorse Trust is now hoping its U.S. arm will lobby eBay in America to ban the creatures from its site.

Seahorse numbers are in steep decline as a result of the Chinese medicine industry which reveres them as a catch-all cure for everything from impotence to baldness

Conservationists have previously warned the fascinating creatures could be wiped out within ten years if the trend continues.