Found this piece of news today: "Today sees the launch of a set of Minimum Standards for websites offering pets for sale. These standards have been created to act as a safeguard for both animals and members of the public, and act as guidance for both sellers and buyers. The standards have been devised by a group of animal welfare charities, collectively known as the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG), which the Kennel Club is part of." Animal charities launch Minimum Standards for UK websites with Defra backing And these are the standards: "MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR ONLINE CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING WEBSITES Websites must: run automated checks for blacklisted words/terms such as banned breeds and filter for misleading or inappropriate adverts require all vendors to include a recent photograph of the animal that they are advertising and monitor for suspicious usage of images. require that all adverts display the age of the animal advertised. No pet should be advertised for transfer to a new owner before it is weaned and no longer dependent on its parents. permanently ban vendors on a three strikes and youre out basis who attempt to post illegal adverts, and take down illegal/inappropriate adverts within 12 working hours of notification ensure that every view item page includes prominent links to PAAG advice on buying and selling a pet (and specific advice for commonly advertised species), including pop ups label clearly on each ad whether it is a private sale, commercial sale or from a rescue/rehoming centre not include adverts for farmed animals or adverts specifying that the animal is to be used for working, hunting, or guarding in the pet section monitor for multiple mobile/telephone numbers and email addresses in private sales and investigate and potentially ban frequent/repeat breeders. Frequent is defined as the same vendor offering a third different animal in a twelve month period. ban adverts of live vertebrate animals as food ban adverts offering stud animals, animals in season or animals for rent or loan in pet section. Note that adverts offering horses or donkeys for loan are acceptable ban adverts offering pregnant animals for sale ensure that no pets are advertised for swapping with other pets, services or goods ensure that species scheduled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act are clearly marked as such and make clear to vendors that it is an offence to offer a species covered by EU Wildlife Trade Regulations Annex A and listed by CITES for sale without a valid Article 10 Certificate. Non-human primates should not be offered for sale. exclude any advert where there is a reasonable concern for the health and welfare of the animal involved provide a clearly visible function for purchasers to report illegal or inappropriate adverts ensure that no live vertebrates are advertised for sale as deliverable through the postal system, national or international require all vendors to state the country of residence from which the animal is being sold require all commercial vendors to provide Local Authority licence information when submitting an advertisement These minimum standards are recommended by PAAG and endorsed by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs." Minimum Standards | Well, it's a start. Personally, as this is DEFRA endorsed, I would like to see some kind of punishment (fines, closing down etc) for non-compliant websites, but the PAAG seem to think that it is enough that the animal-buying public will move away from websites that aren't PAAG compliant: " How will you ensure that websites comply? The cooperation of websites is key to the success of the PAAG minimum standards. We feel that the best way to ensure that websites comply is through public demand for higher standards and better adverts. As the pet owning public become more aware of the standards they can begin to move away from those sites which do not insist on minimum standards for the adverts they host. It is hoped that this will lead to a decrease in traffic to the worst sites which should provide an incentive to improve and ensure that all adverts comply with the PAAG minimum standards." FAQ | I'm not so sure about that. I suspect that many people won't even know about PAAG compliance (and what it means/what non-compliance means) unless this is publicised much more widely. What does everyone else thnk?