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‘Shocking’ number of online pet adverts across EU
Nearly all of the charities surveyed (95 per cent) said there was a problem with online pet sales in their country.
New report finds hundreds of thousands of pets up for sale every day

Over half a million cats and dogs are available to buy online every day across Europe, a new report has found, prompting animal welfare groups to call for change.

The Blue Cross and the EU Dog and Cat Alliance put together a snapshot of online adverts for dogs and cats in 21 European countries. On any given day, 400,579 dogs and 104,318 cats were advertised for sale. Thousands of exotic animals were also available to buy.

Many of these pets had health problems, were underweight or underage. A lack of animal welfare information was also a common theme among the adverts. Some websites even encouraged users to buy animals impulsively, with financial loan options highlighted for those who couldn’t afford to buy a pet straight away.

Nearly all of the charities surveyed (95 per cent) said there was a problem with online pet sales in their country.

The Blue Cross said its findings highlight a need for action across Europe to tackle these online adverts, through self-regulatory groups such as the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG), which has already proved successful in the UK and Ireland.

Becky Thwaites, the charity’s head of public affairs, commented: “The findings from our report on the online sale of pets in Europe has shocked us all. The cases of unscrupulous breeders and sellers who prioritise profit over welfare is clearly a growing problem that needs to be tackled.

“We have seen the success that PAAG in the UK has had in removing inappropriate ads, improving the standard of advertising and most importantly, improving the welfare of the animals, and we are confident that the same can be achieved across Europe with additional groups being set up in more European countries.”

The Blue Cross and the EU Dog and Cat Alliance, launched their report in European Parliament last week (27 September). As a result, Marco Valetta, member of the cabinet for the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, pledged to support the new European Pet Advertising Advisory Group.

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Wales to ban third party puppy and kitten sales

News Story 1
 The Welsh Government has said it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.

A consultation in February received nearly 500 responses, most of whom called for greater action to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises.

Concerns were also raised about online sales, impulse buying, breeder accountability and illegal puppy imports.

A consultation will now be held on plans to implement a ban. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said she will also revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions.  

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WHO declares Congo Ebola outbreak an international health emergency

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move comes after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma - a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The committee also reinforced the need to protect the livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open.