About Us

About the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG)

IPAAG was formed in 2015 by a number of leading animal welfare organisations, veterinary professionals and classified advertising websites to combat the irresponsible advertising of pets online and promote responsible, ethical advertising.

IPAAG aims to:

• Ensure the advertising of animals for sale or supply (including rehoming, and ‘free to a good home’) is done so legally
• Engage with websites so they have up-to-date knowledge about animal welfare issues in relation to advertising pets for sale
• Monitor advertising trends so that websites can act promptly and allow investigations to be initiated when appropriate and practical
• Work with websites which advertise pets for sale to ensure compliance with applicable legislation and the agreed IPAAG Minimum Standards
• Raise public awareness of the need to act responsibly when browsing online pet ads
• Promote full traceability of sellers advertising animals for sale

About our Minimum Standards

We have created a set of Minimum Standards for websites to follow. Those websites we have engaged with that abide by these standards will have the IPAAG logo visible on their pages advertising pets.

These standards will help address issues with advertising animals online, which include:

  • Poor animal welfare standards
  • Lack of information about an animal’s history
  • Offloading of sick animals
  • Commercial sellers pretending to be private sellers
  • Pets ending up in unsuitable homes

Why doesn’t IPAAG call for a ban on the online advertising of animals for sale?

We cannot ignore the fact that consumers can buy nearly anything in just a few clicks, including pets.

Members of IPAAG agree that an outright ban would not end the sale of animals online. It would merely:

  • Drive the animal trade further underground, which would make enforcing the ban more difficult
  • Result in adverts appearing on unregulated sites that are based outside Ireland that could not be policed
  • Prevent reputable animal welfare organisations and rescues from displaying their pets available for adoption online

Instead of calling for a ban, IPAAG works with classified websites in Ireland to help make their ad pages safer for pets and prospective owners. We do this by improving their pet advertising standards. IPAAG also works to educate people about how to buy responsibly online, and discourage impulse-buying.

IPAAG works continuously with major classified advertising websites to ensure there is ongoing regulation and monitoring of pet ads listed on their pages. We are working to ensure the welfare of animals advertised online is protected, and that any illegal activity is identified and investigated.