Changes To Gumtree 'Pets For Sale'

Gumtree logo This week (20th Nov 2012) Gumtree announced changes to their ‘Pets for sale’ category after listening to feedback.

They explain "We're all animal lovers here [at Gumtree] and have been keenly listening to your feedback and views on our 'Pets for Sale' category. It's been a part of the site that's attracted lots of attention and feedback - ranging from families emailing us to tell us how pleased they are to have found a lovely pet through the site, through to those that are unhappy about the fact that pets are being rehomed online at all."

"It's been an interesting process, and we've also consulted some of the UK's biggest animal and pet charities to get their views and input on the category too."

The changes, which have been implemented over the past 10 months, are coming to fruition, say Gumtree. "With animal welfare at the heart of all changes we've made, the impact is immediate to see when you look at the number of listings we now have live. A year ago we were averaging about 70,000 ads in the category at any one time, now it's less than 15,000."

Below is a summary of some of the main changes, as reported on Gumtree's blog:

  • We have limited the number of pets categories on the site - we've removed the farm animals, and exotic animals categories. We'll also be making some changes to the small furries section, so all your favourite little friends can be organised by individual animal.
  • If you want to post an ad within the 'Pets for Sale' category, you will have to register - it's now compulsory. This means that should any animal welfare issues come to light we can share details with law enforcement authorities.
  • When you post an advert in the 'Pets for Sale' category you will see a pop-up box reminding you of the posting rules that you must adhere by. You'll have to agree to these rules before proceeding any further, and should it be requested the agreement will be shared with law enforcement authorities. To proceed with posting an ad you'll need to abide by the following rules:
  • - No animals under eight weeks
    - No commercial breeders and stud services
    - No puppy farms
    - No individuals involved in animal welfare abuses of any kind
  • All new adverts need to include a photo of the animal for sale.
  • To help prevent puppy farmers and breeders from using the site, no user is allowed to post more than two litters of animals a year. The new exception to this is animal welfare charities that choose to use the site to help re-home pets, something that is proving successful since its introduction. All charities opting into this are fully-verified before being accepted onto the programme.
  • Need some advice? We have now updated our information and advice about buying animals online. This advice has been shaped with help from leading animal welfare organisations, and going forward we hope to keep this regularly updated with more animal-specific information.
  • We have a dedicated team that monitors the site. We will remove adverts that we believe indicate animal cruelty or illegal practices and we can share information with authorities for investigation if requested e.g. dogs listed with docked tails, animals suspected of being current working dogs.
The Gumtree blog concludes "And remember that if you do have any concerns about any ads then do report them to us - our dedicated team will then investigate it further and remove them from the site if necessary."

Is it enough? How will these new rules will be policed?

Readers may also be interested in this article Buying or Selling a Dog Online.