EU Pet Advertising Advisory Group (EUPAAG)

Helping improve the standards of online pet adverts through self-regulation

The EU Dog & Cat Alliance is a founding member of the EU Pet Advertising Advisory Group (EUPAAG), which is helping animal welfare organisations, websites and other stakeholders in EU Member States to address the increasing problem of inappropriate dog and cat adverts appearing on classified websites and social media. EUPAAG is working to ensure that as many websites as possible across the EU sign up to voluntary standards and advertise pets in a responsible way. In order to achieve this goal we support the creation of national Pet Advertising Advisory Groups by sharing best practice, advice and through a toolkit made available to our members and ongoing advice and support.

In 2019 the European Commission published the results of their Coordinated Control Plan (CCP). The aim of the CCP was to gain insights into misleading and fraudulent practices, and into the volume of dogs and cats being sold via the internet across the EU. The results from the study showed that there were a range of issues with the online advertising of pets for sale across Europe including underage animals, unvaccinated animals, animals in poor health, false identification documents and illegal transport. Member States suggested that more should be done to educate potential pet buyers, publish standards for classified advertising websites and create partnerships between stakeholders to tackle the problem. The EU Dog & Cat Alliance is thus reinforced in our commitment to EUPAAG and working with the European Commission and Member States to tackle some of these issues through setting up Pet Advertising Advisory Groups and sharing best practice.

We call on the EU institutions to support the work of EUPAAG as a way of addressing the increasing problem of inappropriate dog and cat adverts appearing on classified adverting websites and social media.

Current PAAGs:

Get in touch here for more information

Report: "Online pet advertising in the EU: the cost continues to rise" (December 2020)

On 1 December 2020, the EU Dog & Cat Alliance and Blue Cross launched an EUPAAG report which found that, based on online pet advert data collected from 26 European countries, 438,004 dogs and 80,712 cats were advertised for sale online on a given day. Meanwhile, in-depth analysis of advert data from 7 EU Member States found evidence of prolific individual sellers of pets and cross-border trade networks in some cases spanning multiple countries. 

Read the full report here.

In parallel with the report launch, the EU Dog & Cat Alliance ran a campaign #PetsBehindTheScreen, supported by several Members of the European Parliament, to raise awareness of the reality behind many online adverts for dogs and cats and calling for EU regulation to protect both animals and consumers.

Joint event with the European Commission

On 28 November 2018, the EU Dog & Cat Alliance held a joint event with the European Commission on 'The online market place; an argument for self-regulation'. This multi-stakeholder event looked at different perspectives to the problem and explored the merits of self-regulatory systems to improve the standards of online pet adverts.

Speakers included representatives of classified websites, veterinarians, the advertising sector, consumer and animal welfare organisations who presented their perspectives on the issues associated with the online sale of pets. Their presentations are available to view below.