Four Paws: Cooperation with online platforms for classified ads

The pet trade on the Internet is booming. Because there is a lot of fraud on Swiss classified ad platforms, Vier Pfoten is in talks with and as part of its new "Tatort Internet" campaign to promote comprehensive safety measures.


More and more people in Switzerland are buying animals via online platforms. At the same time, cases of fraud and animal cruelty in connection with the Internet animal trade are increasing. To mark the launch of the new "Tatort Internet" campaign, Vier Pfoten asked the online platforms, and what their policy on animal ads is and what they are doing specifically to prevent abuse and crime. Conclusion: The leading Swiss classifieds platforms have recognized the problem and are trying to stem the tide of dubious offers on their sites with various measures.

"Vier Pfoten is in constructive talks with the large platforms and in order to establish safety measures that are as comprehensive as possible," says Lucia Oeschger, campaign manager of Vier Pfoten Schweiz. Measures should protect animals and consumers "We have drawn up a very concrete catalog of measures that we have presented to the platforms," says Oeschger. "From the responses, you can see how seriously the companies take both animal and consumer protection." The measures include close scrutiny of sellers, mandatory information on the animal itself such as information on health, exact age, etc., as well as a precise listing of all animals that are not allowed to be sold. The latter include primates, numerous wild animals, pregnant animals and animals that are too young. According to Vier Pfoten, the comparison of the platforms is intended to give consumers a certain orientation and awareness of which considerations are important in connection with animal welfare, but also with fraud prevention. "Unfortunately, we cannot prevent animals from being purchased online in Switzerland or elsewhere. But it is important to us that animals are not simply seen as goods, but as sentient beings. People need to know that there is an extreme amount of abuse going on here," says Oeschger.

Research in ten countries reveals many cases of fraud

For the international campaign "Tatort Internet", Vier Pfoten conducted research in ten countries. In Switzerland, too, buyers were repeatedly confronted with cases of fraud; often the newly acquired animal died after a few days or consumers suffered considerable financial damage due to veterinary costs as a result of such a purchase. "There are countless problems," Oeschger sums it up. "However, lack of advice, dubious sources and animal cruelty are the most serious."

Finally, Vier Pfoten would like to point out in a press release that animal shelters also often have their own websites where interested parties can search for animal companions. Countless animals are waiting there for loving owners. Four paws recommends generally to turn with the acquisition of an animal first to the overcrowded Swiss animal homes.

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