MSP encourages constituents to exercise caution when buying pets online

Recent figures released have revealed that over 6,000 online adverts were posted in the last year for dogs, cats and rabbits in Lothian.

The stats come as the Charity Blue Cross for Pets aims to raise awareness in potential pet owners of the dangers of buying household pets through the internet.

With tens of thousands of pets sold online each year in Scotland, Charity Blue Cross is calling for a change in legislation to protect animals bred for sale.

There is no current law for the online sale of animals, and the charity fears that many vulnerable pets could be exploited by sellers who remove puppies, kittens and kits may be removed from their mothers too early.

There are also concerns surrounding the conditions the animals are bred in, and lack of appropriate vaccinations against deadly diseases.

Over three thousand pets were sold in Edinburgh alone in 2017.

The charity is proposing a new Bill to improve animal welfare by enhancing local authority pet shop licensing powers.

Edinburgh Eastern MSP Ash Denham met with Blue Cross for Pets today to discuss with them their concerns over online advertising and Bill proposal, where she learnt that there were a total of 6,261 online pet adverts in Lothian in 2017.

Edinburgh Eastern had the third highest number of adverts in the region with 697.

One online advert in the Lothian region offered a litter of puppies for sale with a total price of £36,000.

Commenting, Ash Denham MSP said,

“Having had a dog myself, I know that adding a pet to the family is incredibly exciting, but it is important that when considering getting a pet to do the proper research.

“It is clear that the scale of pets being advertised and sold online is a real cause for concern. It is crucial for those looking to get a pet that they know where the animal has come from, if it is old enough to be separated from its mother and if it has had the appropriate vaccinations.

“Sellers must look after their animals correctly, and ensure that they are bred in clean and safe conditions and are ready to move on to their new homes.

“When making the decision to get a pet, it is important to remember that it is a long term decision and that animals have several welfare requirements that it is necessary for owners to meet.

“I would also encourage these looking to get a pet to consider adopting first, there are many animals looking to be rehomed.”

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