Illegal puppy trade is booming on online platforms

More figures and background information

Within the first three months of 2022, the global animal welfare foundation was able to record 252 animals in 31 discovered cases of illegal puppy trade. From January to the end of March, an illegal transport, sale or illegal breeding of puppies was discovered on average every third day. The evaluations of the reporting tool also show that online platforms are the main sales channel for the illegal puppy trade. Those affected and those involved in the illegal puppy trade can use the tool to share their experiences or observations and thus actively support the international animal protection organization in the fight against the illegal puppy trade. What is striking is that over 70 percent of the suspected cases reported here have been discovered on online platforms so far in 2022.

Mostly in Eastern Europe, puppies from illegal trade are literally produced in so-called breeding stations. Mostly too young, seriously ill and traumatized, they are smuggled across Europe to be sold via online platforms or in closed groups on social media. Due to the lack of identity verification of animal and seller, criminal traders can offer illegally imported puppies without great criminal risk. With cute pictures, fake stories and fake documents, criminal ads are almost indistinguishable from legitimate advertisers. This highlights the urgency of effective legislation regulating online platforms to stop the illegal puppy trade.

Find out more about the illegal puppy trade here.