Munich (dpa / lby) - In view of the increased illegal trade in pets in the corona pandemic, animal rights activists in Bavaria are divided over a ban on animal sales on the Internet.
While the German Animal Welfare Association "urgently" demands such a ban, other animal rights activists are resisting it - and are backed by the responsible federal minister.
"We found most of our places for animals through eBay classifieds," says Friederike Rajmann, chairwoman of the Fortuna International Animal Aid in Munich.
"A ban would make our work totally difficult."
The association has been placing animals from southern Spain and Romania in Germany since 2012.
It is always ensured that the necessary vaccinations and papers are available for transport to their new owners, says Rajmann.
"We are struggling with the fact that we are lumped together with illegal traders," says Rajmann.
"Our online advertisements have therefore often been temporarily deleted."
The animal welfare organization Lex Friendz from Munich reports similar problems.
"We were thrown out there more often," says chairwoman Sabrina Porsch.
"For some time now we have only been advertising on relevant portals such as Tasso or your animal world."
As an association, you also have to prove that you are operating the animal brokerage legally, emphasizes Porsch.
"That was not the case with eBay classifieds."
She therefore advocates a ban on online pet trading on platforms with less high standards.
The increased demand for pets in times of Corona is not only served by reputable providers on the Internet.
According to the German Animal Welfare Association, the illegal puppy trade experienced "a dramatic upswing" in 2020.
Between January and October, the association registered 75 cases of illegal pet trade across Germany, which means that 818 animals were affected - more than in all of 2019.
There are no Bavaria-wide statistics on illegal pet trade.
The federal police also reported further unauthorized pet imports into the Free State in January.
According to their own statements, the officials stopped an illegal transport of 16 purebred puppies on the Autobahn 96 near Lindau on Thursday;
Most often these transports come from Hungary and Romania, says Wojahn.
The animals are usually too young for the long journey or do not have the necessary vaccinations and papers.
As a result, puppies would sometimes have to spend several months in isolation in rabies quarantine, says Wojahn.
In order to prevent such illegal transports, she advises «generally not to buy or order animals over the Internet».
If so, interested parties should at least request information about the parent animals.
The President of the German Animal Welfare Association, Thomas Schröder, called on Thursday for a legal ban on online trade in animals.
“Selling animals on the Internet contributes to spontaneous purchases and opens the door to illegal trade,” said Schröder.
"This means that online trading is largely responsible for the resulting animal suffering."
Susanne Rajmann from Tierhilfe Fortuna sees it differently: "I am totally against banning online trading."
Many platforms are already checking which pet sales ads are legitimate.
Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU), after a round table with animal rights activists and representatives of Internet platforms last week, only called for uniform standards and better traceability of providers.
Ultimately, digital offers would also make it easier for animal welfare organizations to place animals, Klöckner said.
She did not mention a ban on online pet trading.
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