Posted by Ian Buzer, Managing Director, Preloved
As the UK's largest independent online classified advertising site, we fully welcome the set of minimum standards recently announced by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) to ensure advertising websites offering pets for sale promote animal welfare while protecting potential buyers. Preloved has already adopted the minimum standards released by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group.
We've always worked extremely hard to ensure that Preloved is a safe environment for our many members who visit the site's popular pets category to offer or find a new home for their pets.
We're aware that it's a real responsibility that demands ongoing diligence and a robust structure designed to stamp out suspicious or illegal adverts, alongside those advertisers who do not have an animal's best interests at heart.
As such, Preloved was one of the first online sites to introduce a minimum age for rehoming animals, stop the sale of illegal breeds and dangerous wild animals, control the sale of endangered species and offer a growing resource of ownership advice and guidance.
And we have continued to tighten our controls. For example, we require proof of a breeding licence from an advertiser's local council where required by law, we stop the buying and selling of animals for profit, and monitor and record advertiser activity and will exclude those if we receive complaints regarding the health of animals they have sold.
Our advertisers are also unable simply to switch identities to try to carry on trading because we can trace those sellers who attempt to open multiple accounts and stop them.
In 2013, we introduced a system where each advertiser is now asked specific questions about an animal, including its age, breed, details on any health checks or vaccinations that they have received, etc. This gives visitors looking to offer a home to a pet much more information about a specific animal and whether they can provide the care and attention it will need.
We are continuing to build our site's advice resource about pets that gives in-depth information about different animals, the range of breeds and their requirements. This is vital for giving potential owners access to the necessary information and research they need before making such a long-term commitment.
We firmly believe that this is all a far cry from the pre-internet days when adverts for pets were simply stuck up on newsagents' noticeboards or pinned to lamp posts. Preloved also provides a much safer environment for offering or rehoming a pet than non-specialist social media sites such as Facebook.
We are looking forward to continuing to work with PAAG in ensuring that any animal offered or rehomed via an online platform has its future health and welfare needs as the foremost priority.