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Buyers should beware of potential issues in online pet sales

News January 10, 2018

“We have seen some really sad, distressing situations.”

“People find out more information about cars or furniture than they ever do when buying pets online.”

These quotes are from the launch video of Britain’s Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG), and are a reminder to prospective buyers to do their homework when buying an animal online.

A horse being offered as a swap for ‘a quid’ or a motorbike and a partially blind pony being offered free to a new home and are just two examples of the worst online horse advertisements highlighted by the PAAG in recent years. The group comprises representatives from the UK’s leading animal welfare groups and specialist agencies who have to deal with the fall out of inappropriate advertising. It is working with the Government to remind consumers and websites that an animal is not a commodity like a washing machine or a car, and should not be advertised or bought in the same way.

While more relevant to small animals such as cats and dogs, buyers should also take time to do their homework when looking to buy larger animals.

Paula Boyden, Chair of PAAG, said: “The ease and popularity of the internet means that the impulse buying of pets has increasingly become an appealing option for many prospective buyers. However, the lure of a quick sale also attracts many unscrupulous breeders and dealers to websites.”

PAAG also works to raise public awareness of the need to act responsibly when buying pets, as well as the need to do research before making any purchase, and welcomes the move to require licensed sellers to provide written information when selling animals.

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