As selling pets online becomes normal, we need to regulate it

The online sale of pets is increasing, with more than 31,000 dogs and 24,000 cats relinquished a year through online marketplace   alone. Our research shows this online market is worth an estimated A$14 million a year, just through this one platform.

Many other websiteshttps://animal.direct/also allow people to sell their pets, so this number is likely only the tip of the iceberg. With this online trade becoming normalised, regulation is now needed to protect animals.

Trading pets online comes with many animal welfare risks. By relying on photos and seller descriptions of animals, potential buyers might be inadvertently supporting puppy farms or poor breeding practices. According to the  , if a seller is unwilling to allow you to visit their property, it’s a red flag.

With the rise of pet transportation companies, you can now buy a dog or cat online and get it delivered to your door without ever having left your home. However, this often means animals are transported long distances at young ages, with some breeds at greater risk of  than others.

The risks of buying a pet online extend beyond the animal’s welfare. The Western Australian Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard  you physically inspect a puppy and its parents before purchasing, to avoid being the victim of a scam or ending up with a sick or diseased animal.

Although purchasing a pet online is subject to the same consumer guarantees as other “  the reality of exchanging or refunding a puppy you have fallen in love with is very different.

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