Pets advertised on Facebook
PAAG is aware that pets are increasingly being advertised for sale on Facebook. Representatives from the group have met with the site to discuss illegal and inappropriate adverts (e.g. animal abuse, poor welfare, illegal breeds, illegal sellers). Facebook is a social media network, not a classified advertising website, and as such does not currently filter any posts before they are published, and mainly relies on users reporting inappropriate content. In our meeting, it became clear that it is unlikely that Facebook could or would apply the PAAG Minimum Standards based on their current business model.
Facebook’s Marketplace, in its commerce policy, sets out what can and cannot be offered for sale. Within the commerce policy, in relation to animals, the following cannot be advertised for sale:
- Live animals
- Any part, pelt or skin from an animal, including fur
The following can be advertised:
- Animal cages
- Products for animals (toys, collars, etc)
- Veterinary services
- Grooming services
- Boarding services
The Facebook Marketplace commerce policy is available to read here: https://www.facebook.com/policies/commerce/prohibited_content/animals
Posts on Facebook’s main site are subject to its community standards. Live animal sales are not permitted and can be reported directly to Facebook. The reporting options will change depending on the type of post, however in April 2019 Facebook added a new reporting option “this is an animal for sale”.
Facebook’s community standards are available to read here: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/introduction
Facebook works with the police to moderate any reported illegal posts. Reports should be dealt with within forty-eight hours. If reported, any post that promotes animal abuse or is illegal in the country referred to (e.g. a banned breed in the UK) should be removed. Facebook’s policy is not to remove posts unless notified.
PAAG recommends that members of the public report any concerning adverts involving animals that they find on all areas of the Facebook site.
Approved by: All PAAG Members
Date: Tuesday 6th August 2019