Thousands of adverts for pets are listed across various classified ad websites every day, with animals being purchased just like products at the click of a button.
Classified ad sites benefit from the high click through rate of people wishing to view pets for sale and the resulting advertising income they receive from banner advertising. Some sites have as many as 200,000 pet adverts at any one time. However many of these sites are poorly regulated and offer little protection for animals being sold, or for the people looking to acquire a pet.
FOUR PAWS has carried out research on classified ad sites in 10 countries world-wide and has revealed shocking evidence of the risks posed to the public and animals for sale. A lack of proper regulation means that people looking for a pet online could end up with a sick, dangerous or even illegal animal, while our research suggests that this trade is inflicting major suffering on millions of animals world-wide.
Our international research (including victims stories) revealed:
- illegally imported puppies for sale
- sick animals having been sold
- banned breeds including a pit bull being advertised illegally as a professional fighting dog
- endangered and wild caught species being sold as pets
- commercial puppy dealers selling animals under the pet rescue section
- animals being advertised for delivery via postal service/courier i.e. turtles, tortoises, fish, Giant African Snails, Marmoset monkeys
- animals being sold too young according to the site rules
- animals with behavioural problems such as aggression being advertised for sale
- animals being swapped for inanimate objects including a puppy swapped for a smart phone, a parrot swapped for a laptop
- puppies being sold with docked tails as pets (in countries where it is illegal)
- wild boar for sale as bait to train hunting dogs
- animals being advertised for slaughter including pregnant rabbits
- dangerous snakes being advertised including a 9ft Madagascar Floor Python
- animals for sale online to meet the latest fashion trends i.e. skinny pigs (guinea pigs bred without any fur) and micro pets (miniature pets)
- extensive range and number of exotic species often advertised with little information on their care requirements including Racoon Dogs, Silver Foxes, Sugar Gliders, Pygmy Owls, African Pygmy Hedgehogs, African Pygmy Door Mice, Ring-tailed Lemur, Chinese Nightingale, Marmoset monkeys
- CITES listed species advertised without Article 10 certificates (a legal requirement)
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