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Help us stop the pet deception online!

FOUR PAWS strives to regulate the online trade in pets on eBay’s classified ad sites

Update 04/10/2017

Online classified ad sites can be used to disguise the true source of animals offered for sale, and the conditions under which they have been bred, raised and transported. FOUR PAWS has been researching and investigating activities related to the pet trade on eBay classified ad sites over the last three years and has found evidence of illegal, irresponsible and suspicious selling of animals.

eBay, as one of the largest providers of online classified ad sites with eleven classified sites world-wide including Gumtree, Marktplaats, eBay Kleinanzeigen, is, sadly, still part of the problem, rather than being part of the solution.

FOUR PAWS CEO has now sent a letter to the CEO of eBay urging the company to commit to implementing three fundamental standards by 2018, namely:

1.    Introduction of seller identify verification for animal sales
2.    Introduction of an animal welfare policy with rules regarding animal sales
3.    Enforcement of both these standards

You can find the letter to eBay’s CEO here. DOWNLOAD.


Please see further details about the three standards, which have also been sent to eBay here. DOWNLOAD.

Update, 2017/09/20

We are currently re-structuring the Pet Deception website. Soon, we will have a new tool available to support our efforts in protecting pets and people online!


We would also like to inform you that we are continuing our dialogue with eBay and other classified ad sites. We shall keep you updated as to how the negotiations develop, through our social media platforms.


*For operators of classified ad sites: if improvements on your site were implemented please get in touch with your FOUR PAWS’s contact person Chris de Wet at +27 21 702 4277 or email

It’s getting more and more common to buy pets online via classified ads sites. No matter, if you are seeking a puppy, a kitten, a rabbit or a even a horse. The worldwide online trade of animals is booming. However, poor regulations have allowed many classified ads sites to become a haven for deception and animal suffering. This is a major problem, as many sites fail to meet the required standards for protecting animals sold online, as well as the people looking for a pet. It’s in the hands of global companies such as eBay who own 17 classified ad sites around the world (including Gumtree), to change that and lead the way .