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Crackdown on dodgy online pet deals

Monday September 9th 2013

Thousands of pets are sold over the internet every day but an animal watchdog is setting new standards for websites to stop alarming 'swap deals', such as a puppy for a mobile phone.

The Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) wants to see higher standards among sites to protect animals and also stop consumers receiving sick, dangerous or illegal animals.

Other worrying online adverts included a tortoise being offered in exchange for a watch, a golden retriever and chihuahua swap and deals for four marmoset monkeys and an Arctic fox. The watchdog also saw advertisements for a zonkey - a cross between a zebra and a donkey, illegal pitbulls and a cat needing urgent eye treatment. Pet owners should make sure their animals are covered by Pet Insurance in case they need expensive veterinary treatment.

PAAG is made up of representatives from various UK animal welfare organisations. Its aim is to make people aware that animals should not be classed as commodities such as cars or televisions and should not be advertised for sale in the same way.

A list of websites consumers can trust is available on the PAAG website so they know where to go to by a pet online. It is calling on animal lovers to check that websites are meeting its standards and not use them if they fail to do so. Its chairwoman, Clarissa Baldwin, says up to 120,000 new pet adverts appear on UK websites every day.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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