On 15th April 2015 leading Irish animal welfare organisations, representatives from the veterinary profession and websites advertising pets for sale launched the ground breaking and progressive IPAAG Minimum Standards at the Mansion House, Dublin. This major initiative will improve the welfare of the thousands of pets advertised online on a weekly basis.
Minister Simon Coveney said: “I am delighted to endorse the IPAAG Minimum Standards for the online sale of animals. It is encouraging to see animal welfare groups working together with the veterinary profession to engage with online retailers to develop guidelines for the advertising of animals online that will ensure that the welfare of animals being sold is protected and that illegal activity is identified and acted on. I would strongly encourage websites that advertise animals for sale to comply with these minimum standards”.
The online sale of pets has been identified as a significant problem with rogue breeders breaking the law and in many cases compromising the welfare of the animals being offered for sale. In the absence of a ban, which would result in adverts appearing on unregulated websites likely based outside Ireland, it would make dealing with animal welfare issues extremely difficult and would do nothing to prevent the over production of puppies.
IPAAG introduced a set of minimum standards for websites to ensure that the welfare of animals sold online is protected and that any illegal activity is identified and investigated. In addition to providing standards for the online advertising of animals for sale, IPAAG will also provide an opportunity for the buyer to be educated on what criteria to use to identify a responsible breeder. Online websites that comply with the standards will provide links to www.ipaag.ie,which will include information for the safe purchase of healthy dogs, cats, equines and exotic animals.
IPAAG chairman and ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said: “As someone committed to animal welfare I would always encourage prospective pet owners to rehome a rescue animal from a shelter or pound but we recognise that people will often turn to their computers when looking to buy or sell almost anything including pets. Website advertisers complying with IPAAG minimum standards is the first step to solving the issues that relate to the online sale of pets, enabling prospective pet owners to buy a healthily bred pet with confidence. The ISPCA and our colleagues in animal welfare regularly hear from people who have purchased a pet online only for it to fall sick or die soon after, which is awful for the animal concerned and heart breaking for the owners”.