When pet sales feed an illicit market

Difficult to choose among the 23,000 kitten sales published today on an online classifieds platform. But one of them will catch our attention: “.

“Don two-month-old kitten. Deworming and deworming. Two months, weaned and vaccinated”. A reassuring description at first sight. The sale criteria seem to be respected.

We contact the author of the ad pretending to be an interested buyer. The call is brief. This gives us an appointment the next day in the Paris region, in the parking lot of a shopping center. Finally unavailable, he sent his companion to finalize the transaction, which tells us that no, the animal is not vaccinated. Contrary to what the ad said. She also does not have a health record. It’s illegal. So we end the meeting.

A few days later, we discover that our seller uses different profiles and pseudonyms on social networks and that he would sell more than 150 animals per year: kittens, puppies, turtles, birds, rabbits… All these advertisements would bring him between 50 000 and 60,000 euros over one year.

We are going to discover it on this wasteland in the Paris region. Twenty dogs and cats crammed into cages, abandoned, frightened.

This seller has been the subject of several reports, police checks and a complaint from the SPA, a year ago, for acts of animal abuse.

That morning, we accompany investigators from the SPA who want to prove that this man is carrying on an illegal trade with abandoned or stolen kittens. For these SPA investigators who pretend to be buyers, this meeting brings more proof to try to complete often long and difficult investigations: “There, we could be in flagrante delicto. We will file a complaint with the public prosecutor.”.

Powerlessness also on the side of the platform on which most of these classified ads are published: “Leboncoin has a host status. This status implies that the control of our advertisements can only be carried out automatically, by algorithms. However, this status also implies that advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their advertisements and for complying with the regulations in force.“, admits Leboncoin.

Last year, a law was passed to better regulate the conditions for the sale of pets and in particular online sales between individuals. But it will not come into force until 2024.

AMONG OUR SOURCES (non-exhaustive list):

Law of 30/11/2021 aimed at combating animal abuse and strengthening the link between animals and humans

What does the bill against animal abuse contain, which has been definitively adopted by the National Assembly?

SPA campaign: “Let’s ban the sale of animals online”

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