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Bid to close down pet auction site successful

AN INTERNET site where animals – including dogs – were out up for auction was attacked by scores of dog owners, breeders and groups this week as being ‘unethical’ and encouraging puppy farmers.

The site, is an American-owned site where people can advertise animals for sale for free. The site mainly has entries for horses, and whilst there were no entries at all for cats and smaller pets, there were four entries for dogs for auction at the beginning of this week.

However, following a huge volume of calls to the seller, and the website itself, the seller decided to withdraw the dogs from the auction sale, and the site administrators decided to change the site from an auction site to a simple ‘buy it now’ classified advertising site.

Dean Reynolds, Administrator of the site spoke to OUR DOGS to defend the site and to explain his actions in changing it; ‘I think there’s a misconception amongst some people about how auctions work,’ he said. ‘Even if someone successfully bids for an item – whether its an animal or anything else – there’s no legal requirement for the sale to go ahead.

‘If you were selling a dog, or a horse on our site and the person who made the winning bid turned up to buy the animal, if you didn’t like the look of them or had any concerns that they wouldn’t look after the animal properly, then you don’t have to sell it to them.

‘Animals are sold by auction over the Internet in lots of different countries around the world and there’s no problem there. Its giving people an opportunity to show off their animals for sale – the sites get a tremendous amount of viewings and a massive flow of potential buyers. However, there seems to be a bit of a ‘nanny state’ mentality in this country and the fear that people seem to have – as they’ve said to me – is they seem to think it will compromise the animals’ welfare or encourage puppy farmers or backyard breeders. If we had any doubts or concerns about any of our advertisers being unscrupulous, we’d pull their ads off the site straight away.

‘The site is free, but after discussions on the number of calls we’ve had about this, we’ve decided that it just isn’t worth all the aggravation, so e have changed the site from an auction site to a straightforward classified advertising site.

‘Let me assure your readers though that we take all care to vet the advertisers as best we can and again, if we have any concerns that unscrupulous breeders are using the site, their adverts will be taken down straight away.’

The Kennel Club said: ‘The Kennel Club is deeply disappointed and extremely concerned that websites are continuing to launch offering live animals for sale on line. Reputable mainstream retail sites refuse to offer live animals for sale for ethical reasons, however it seems ethics have passed by those running and advertising on websites such as Animals Auction. We are glad to see that the site appears to have responded to pressure and after one day of going live the website is no longer offering dogs for sale by auction, but the fact that it is still possible to buy puppies and fully grown dogs on line could be detrimental to the welfare of dogs being traded in this way. The Kennel Club strongly recommends that dogs should be purchased direct from responsible breeders (who would never sell their dogs in this way), to ensure they have been looked after to a high standard as opposed to being reared for profit by a so called puppy farmer. We hope that Defra’s pet vending regulations will address this issue and will do so as a priority’