Online portals OLX.in and Quikr.com allow users including unscrupulous breeders who illegally sell underage puppies to sell live animals and apparently to violate other animal-welfare regulations.
That’s why People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent letters calling on both websites to join Amazon, eBay, and Locanto in banning the online sale of “pets”.
“By allowing the sale of animals on their Indian websites and treating them as unfeeling commodities, OLX and Quikr are putting them at risk of being purchased by abusive people or impulse shoppers who are simply not prepared to provide them with lifelong care,” says PETA India Senior Corporate Liaison Ajay Welinkar.
“PETA India is calling on these portals to protect animals by adopting the same ban on live-animal sales that Amazon and Craigslist have.”
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, prohibit selling puppies under 8 weeks old, yet both OLX and Quikr have allowed users to sell puppies and kittens younger than 2 months of age.
Indian law also prohibits the import of dogs into the country for commercial activities such as breeding, yet some Quikr users sell ones described as having “imported” parents or lineage.
In its letters to the companies, PETA India also points out that dogfighting in which animals are often forced to fight to the death is increasingly common in the country, and some breeds typically used in these fights, such as Dobermanns, pit bulls, and German shepherds, are being sold on OLX and Quikr.
Quikr also facilitates the sale of other species that are likely used for unlawful activity, including goats and hens, who may be purchased to be killed outside licensed slaughterhouses; pigeons, who are likely used for illegal racing; and other birds, who may be caged and whose wings may be clipped in violation of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
PETA India has also pointed out that sellers on OLX commonly hold fish out of the water in order to display them for photos, an undoubtedly traumatic experience for the fish and a violation of the PCA Act, 1960, which makes it a punishable offence to cause animals “unnecessary pain or suffering”.
In 2015, PETA India called on OLX to ban animal sales after discovering that users were selling protected wildlife, including a koala who was being sold as an “Australian teddy bear”.
The letter prompted the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to urge OLX to withdraw “any such offer for sale” of animals protected under The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, but the sale of species not protected by this law continues to put animals at risk of mistreatment and suffering.
PETA India whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” also notes that every time someone buys a dog or cat from a breeder or pet store or online, a homeless animal loses his or her chance at finding a home.
The group encourages people who have the time, space, and resources to welcome a dog or cat into their home to adopt from a reputable shelter or rescue an animal from the street.>