Ebay doesn't allow live animals to be put up for auction, but on their Classifieds site, animal sales are fair game.
EBay claims that they have safeguards in place to protect the animals. But unless eBay is inspecting all of the operations listing pets for sale (because the USDA is not), and unless they're doing home visits on all of the people buying, how could they possibly protect the animals?
The answer: They can't. Because of a loophole in the laws, as long as animals are being sold online, the breeders don't even fall under USDA regulation. Ebay has given puppy mills a huge, unregulated platform to peddle cruelty. And it seems that they're hoping animal advocates won't notice.
Several years ago, the company planned a live animals category in their auctions. The public outcry was so strong that they abandoned the plan. But then eBay Classifieds came along, and apparently the company forgot that people didn't want to see live animals for sale on their site.
Remind eBay that people don't want to see live animals sold anywhere on their site, and ask them to shut down the live animal listings in eBay Classifieds.
Update: Ebay posted a response in the comments of the blog post about their pet sales. However, they continue to avoid the fact that online listings attract puppy mills and backyard breeders and that there is no way for them to ensure that animals come from reputable sources or end up in good homes.
In their response, eBay also referred to a partnership with Petfinder; however, if they want to help homeless pets find homes, then they should work with Petfinder to convert their services entirely to an adoption service rather than listing adoptable animals alongside puppy mill dogs.
Photo credit: Steven Arnold