Gumtree: Stop selling Live Animals

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Gumtree allows live animals such as dogs and cats to be advertised and sold for a fee of £2.99 in order to meet the requirements of the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). However, Gumtree are still falling considerably short of ensuring proper animal welfare and the fee is not even a minor inconvenience for irresponsible pet owners who are set on selling and abusing their animals.

Gumtree claims that they have safeguards in place to protect the animals such as the Gumtree Pet Policy, however, this is completely useless unless Gumtree are inspecting all of the listings. Without home visits to all the people buying or selling these animals, the animals are not protected. Within the Pet Policy the first rule is for members to only allow for two pet advertisements within 12 months, however, it would take a Gumtree member less than 10 minutes to create a new account or use a friend of family members email.

Due to lockdown and with more people working from home than ever, the sale of dogs has massively increased. However, criminals have capitalised on this. It has pushed the price of dogs and puppies to an all-time high which has inadvertently sparked a high rise in dog thefts throughout the UK. Gumtree is an easy platform for criminals to then sell the dogs and cats on to unknowing buyers. The lack of policies Gumtree has in place means that criminals can continue to exploit animals and their owners.

This industry is driven by a network of often unqualified breeders, transporters and dealers who put the welfare of the animal last. Gumtree makes selling animals quick and easy, yet so many people abuse the website for their own gain. Why buy a pet from a breeder that you don't know is certified or has done a full health check on the pet; when you could adopt for half the price from a reputable charity, organisation or foster where the animals are well cared for.

Additionally, Gumtree has never been a website that has put animal welfare first. There are countless cases across the United Kingdom where a cat has been sold for free which has then been used as bait within dog fights.

Gumtree needs to ban ALL ads selling or rehoming animals and instead encourage people to use shelters or certified animal fosterers. Gumtree allows for lazy pet ownership and for people to buy and sell pets infinitely without considering the consequences or the wellbeing of the animal. eBay has stopped their bad practices and it is time for Gumtree to follow suit.