10 September 2013

Posted by Discount Insurance on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
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New guidelines for selling animals online are being introduced to improve pet welfare and protect the public from fraudsters selling ill, dangerous and sometimes illegal animals.

These new Minimum Standards were put together by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) and have been supported by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and Lord de Mauley, the minister for animal welfare.

Websites that comply with the standards set on the PAAG website will help encourage consumers to make ethical, safer choices when buying a pet online.

‘Whilst we recognise that pets are commonly advertised online, it is still shocking to know that there are between 100,000 and 120,000 pet advertisements appearing on UK websites each day,’ said Clarissa Baldwin, Chairman of PAAG.

‘The research undertaken by PAAG has revealed some truly terrible examples where animal welfare was clearly the thought in the mind of the advertiser. Every day we hear from people who have bought an animal online only for it to fall sick or die soon after.’

Some of the worst online adverts include a ‘very rare Zonkey’ (cross-breed between a zebra and donkey), being offered as a swap for ‘a quad’ or a motorbike, and a partially blind pony being offered free to a new home.

Source: 2wired2tired.com
PAAG is made up of various representatives from the UK’s leading animal welfare groups and specialist agencies, including the Blue Cross who deal with the fall out of misleading adverts on a daily basis.

‘Indiscriminate advertising can be dangerously misleading, often resulting in inappropriate, but often well-meaning homes, which can put the animal’s future welfare at serious risk,’ said Kath Urwin, manager of the Blue Cross re-homing centre.

‘Horses and ponies are large and costly animals to keep. They need specialist facilities and care from knowledgeable and experienced people. It’s unethical to treat them as cheap or even disposable commodities as many of these advertisements do.’

Seen a suspicious advert? Report it to PAAG now.

PAAG hopes the standards will help websites filter out these advertisers, although they are only the first step. PAAG will work closely with websites such as Gumtree, Loot and Preloved to provide support in moderating and reporting any suspicious adverts.

‘We hope that Minimum Standards will be just that, a minimum standard that a website must reach before posting advertisement for pets,’ said Clarissa.

Gaurav Ahluwalia