Online selling platform Gumtree has introduced new rules to prevent the 'casual' trading of pets on the site.
The measures came into force on August 7, and have seen a compulsory paywall introduced for anyone wishing to sell an animal. A fee will now be charged to discourage illegal pet breeders from signing up.
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The site already has a partnership with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group, who provide guidelines on responsible pet trading.
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The organisation has expressed concerns that criminals are setting up fake profiles on Gumtree to advertise illegally bred dogs and cats for sale.
Many of these animals have health problems or are being imported into the country from abroad without the correct paperwork and quarantine certificates.