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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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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at or 087 219 54 30.