When purchasing imported puppies, the risk of reduced or downright ill health is significant. While increasing animal welfare is the priority of Puppyplaats, the most popular marketplace for dogs in the Netherlands, a ban was added two months ago for advertisements of imported dogs. Since then, 100 ads per month have been blocked, the majority of which are imported puppies.
Every year, about 50,000 puppies are imported from abroad to the Netherlands for sale*. A significant percentage of this is illegal trade, which can raise serious questions about the welfare of the dogs. For example, the dogs are bred in large numbers, the puppies are separated from their mother too early and they are transported under poor conditions. Where innovation and regulation in pet marketplaces is lagging, scammers and puppy smugglers with high prices and high demand for dogs are seeing their chance. With the result; unhealthy dogs and buyers who unknowingly purchase one.
100 blocked ads per month
To fight animal abuse and breeding in large numbers and protect buyers, Puppyplaats.nl launched its new optimised website two months ago, including new rules and restrictions that sellers must adhere to. Among other things, the platform integrated a ban on imported dogs, with the exception of Belgium and certain areas of Spain. Since then, the ads have been screened daily for users and images and descriptions of the dogs. Sellers must also be able to demonstrate that they are the current owner of the animal and are asked to provide a photo of the puppy and mother. This led to 100 blocked ads per month. The vast majority of these are imported dogs.
Zero tolerance policy when it comes to animal welfare
In addition, several new technical features were added to promote animal welfare and protect buyers. In addition to imported puppies, dogs that have been bought for resale and animals that come from breeders who offer multiple breeds on a large scale are therefore no longer welcome on the platform.
Since then, buyers and sellers at Puppyplaats have also had to deal with an ID verification that is similar to the method used by international banks. After all, anonymity increases the risk of illegal practices. The platform is the first to use this security measure. Finally, animal welfare is stimulated by introducing rules that go even further than Dutch legislation. Officially, puppies in the Netherlands can get a new home after seven weeks, but Puppyplaats adds an extra week to this for the best development of the animals. After eight weeks, breast milk can be safely exchanged for solid food. In addition, from now on, buyers on the website should always be given the opportunity to go to the vet with their new puppy before the actual sale takes place. For example, Puppyplaats is building the safest and most responsible animal marketplace in the Netherlands.
Puppyplaats is the largest free online animal marketplace in the Netherlands, with no fewer than 40,000 registered users. In May 2021, the website was acquired by Pet Media Group, a Stockholm-based startup.
Pet Media Group develops leading animal-focused marketplaces on a European scale and deploys advanced technology for; more safety and trust among buyers and sellers, more ease of use, and higher animal welfare.
The company is active in Scandinavia, the UK, Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic, and with the acquisition of Puppyplaats last year, also in the Netherlands.
Catch our interview with Paul Down, Head of Sales at Intigriti.