E-commerce portal ends animal sales after PETA's appeal

IANS
Monday, 31 August 2020

Following years of pressure from PETA India, e-commerce portal, OLX India, has removed all live animal listings from its website

Following years of pressure from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, e-commerce portal, OLX India, has removed all live animal listings from its website and updated its policy to prohibit all trading in live animals.

The move follows appeals from the animal rights organisation not only to OLX but also to all state animal welfare boards or animal husbandry departments, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Commerce, and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).

In response, the AWBI has ordered the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to stop e-commerce platforms such as OLX India and Quikr from trading in live animals without due registration under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018.

As PETA India pointed out in its letters, most pet stores and dog breeders are not registered as required by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, respectively.

"They are easily able to circumvent animal protection regulations by trading animals online - and these unregulated operations are frequently rife with animal mistreatment and neglect," PETA stated.

Typical forms of cruelty include displaying dogs with often illegal ear and tail mutilations for trade, breeding dogs in such a way that they develop severe health problems, keeping animals in deplorable conditions, and selling sick animals to the public.

Meanwhile, recent information indicates that Quikr is also not registered as a pet shop under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018, in any state, despite trading in animals.

In addition, the company displays animals under the guise of adoption, even though PETA India brought animals listed for sale on Quikr to the platform's notice and let it know that the animals being displayed are actually sold via its site offline.

Animals displayed on Quikr have included goats prior to Eid, marmosets, cocks to be used for illegal fighting, pedigree dogs, and other animals who have been listed for "adoption" while, in reality, the trader provides the price off-site.

"Vulnerable animals pay the price when they're shopped around by e-retailers," says PETA India Corporate Liaison Mallika Roy. "OLX India made the compassionate call to prohibit live animal listings, and it's high time for Quikr to do the same."

Every time someone buys a dog or a cat from a breeder or a pet store or online, a homeless animal roaming the streets or waiting in an animal shelter loses a chance of finding a home.

Unwanted animals are often abandoned on the streets, where they struggle to survive. Many of them go hungry, are deliberately injured, or killed, are hit by vehicles, or are abused in other ways.

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