Tell TikTok: Ban Breeders from selling on your app

Tell TikTok: Ban Breeders from selling on your app

July 6, 2022
Signatures: 2,124Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

TikTok is a popular social media app with over 1 Billion active monthly users and a set of “Community Guidelines” that users must follow or their accounts can be suspended and even permanently banned. These guidelines include categories such as Minor Safety; Dangerous acts and challenges; Suicide, self-harm, and disordered eating; Adult nudity and sexual activities; Bullying and harassment; Integrity and authenticity; Illegal activities and regulated goods, etc.

One category blatantly missing from the Community Guidelines is the sale of animals by breeders. They only mention animals twice in their guidelines, neither of which appears to cover breeding. These guidelines can be used against animal rescuers/animal rights groups when they show graphic images to spread awareness but leaves it allowable for unethical breeders, backyard breeders and puppy mills to advertise their puppies and find buyers through the app. The two existing guidelines are:

1.    Content that provides instructions on how to conduct criminal activities that result in harm to people, animals, or property

2.    Content of animals that depicts: the slaughter or other non-natural death of animals dismembered, mutilated, charred, or burned animal remains
animal cruelty and gore.
Approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. Approximately 920,000 animals are euthanized (390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats). Economic troubles around the world have led to an uptick in those numbers. Animals are in crisis. Owner surrenders are up, adoptions are down, and many shelters are euthanizing for space. Pitbull/bully breeds account for 75% of dogs in shelters and purebred German Shepherds, Huskies and Chihuahuas make up a large portion of the remaining percentage. In states like Texas and California, single shelters are euthanizing up to 20-30 dogs every day. 

Ethical breeders by definition do not need to advertise to the public because their buyers do research and find them through reputable sources such as veterinarians and breeding clubs; their litters are often spoken for well in advance, with buyers sometimes waiting years for their puppies.

Unethical breeding practices include, but are not limited to:

  • Many types of purebreds or “designer” hybrid breeds being sold at less than 8 weeks old.
  • Reluctance to show potential customers the entire premises on which animals are being bred and kept.
  • Breeders who don’t ask a lot of questions of potential buyers.
  • No guarantees about the health of the dog. Responsible breeders make a commitment to take back the pet at any time during the animal’s life, no matter the reason.
  • Breeding dogs who are too young or, too old or they breed a female too many times
  • Offering to meet the buyer at a half-way point or to ship the puppy.

Breeders on TikTok also sometimes show very graphic images such as the dogs being artificially inseminated or living in puppy mill conditions. Such images can be extremely disturbing to children. However, when these types of videos are reported, TikTok routinely does NOT find that they violate the community guidelines. 

It is irresponsible of TikTok to allow activities that are disturbing to children and which make the problem of animal overpopulation worse. Tell TikTok to prohibit the advertising and sale of animals by unethical breeders on its platform.

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Signatures: 2,124Next Goal: 2,500
Support now