FECAVA joined other veterinary and animal protection organisations in signing a letter asking e-Bay to end anonymous trading in pets on all its classified as sites. The letter, drafted by Four Paws, recalls that, “classified ads have become the major channel through which the illegal pet trade operates.” The letter invites e-Bay Inc. to follow the lead of online selling platforms such as Gumtree UK to introduce seller identification via a mandatory paywall for pet ads to discourage unscrupulous operators.
The online puppy trade in Europe is worth an estimated € 1.5 billion, according Four Paws, and approximately 2.4 million dogs are traded each year through e-Bay affiliated classified websites alone. It estimates that 90% of all dog trade via this platform is illegal.
“The illegal puppy trade thrives on these platforms because it is nearly impossible to trace the dealers. If problems arise with the health or welfare of these puppies, the owners often find it impossible to get in touch with the seller,” explains FECAVA president Wolfgang Dohne. “In most cases, this is a criminal activity, endangering the health and welfare of pets, public health and consumer protection, and it should be stopped.”
Ricky Gervais, Joanna Lumley and Dame Judi Dench and a long list of high-profile animal advocates also signed the letter to eBay Inc calling upon the company’s classified ad sites to “stop enabling the puppy mafia”. They join over 210,000 Four Paws supporters worldwide who signed the Thanks eBay petition .
Earlier this month, FECAVA co-signed a letter to the European Commission asking for better regulation on the online trade of companion animals. “It is an important message, and we need to be active on all fronts,” Wolfgang Dohne explains.