We work hard behind the scenes to ensure pets are advertised safely on Preloved and we are proud to meet and exceed the minimum standards set by government endorsed Advisory group PAAG. Keep reading to learn more about DEFRA’s recent press release on pet advertising, and to catch up on what we do behind the scenes.
What is PAAG?
PAAG (Pets Advertising Advisory Group) is a government endorsed advisory group chaired by Dogs Trust, and has full support from various other leading UK animal welfare charities. Last year the group set minimum standards for advertising sites to adhere to in regards to pet advertising. We meet these standards, and are proud to have been part of the pilot scheme, leading the way in regards to responsible pet advertising.
Thanks to a collaborative effort made by PAAG and the sites themselves, over 130,000 inappropriate adverts have been removed from the handful of sites that signed up to the scheme. We caught up with Margaret Donnellan, spokesperson for PAAG about the progress we have made:
“We at PAAG are delighted to see the progress made by Preloved and the other classified websites who have committed to implementing the minimum standards. The improvement made by sites such as Preloved demonstrates the value of working with PAAG, implementing the group’s minimum standards, and making a firm commitment to animal welfare. We hope that continued engagement will ultimately help to make the internet a safer place for pets and those looking to purchase a pet”
The advisory group consists of dedicated members with a common goal – to improve the safety of animals being advertised online, and to protect potential new owners from irresponsible advertisement, and unscrupulous pet breeders. PAAG has full government support from Animal Welfare Minister Lord de Mauley, and as part of a DEFRA press release last week he said:
“I congratulate the Pet Advertising Advisory Group for their hard work in devising these standards, and the websites involved for working together to implement them. I am pleased that so many misleading adverts have been removed from view. I urge the public to pay close attention to the health and welfare of advertised pets, and ask all websites involved in selling domestic pets to sign up to this voluntary code.”
What is Preloved doing to help stamp out animal cruelty?
Sophisticated Moderation Processes
With the help of PAAG’s expert knowledge, we keep a list of blacklisted terms up to date to ensure no inappropriate or illegal adverts go live on our site. Pet adverts are also restricted from going live without an appropriate photograph – as well as aiding potential pet owners, this helps us identify any welfare concerns.
That’s not all, we also have a dedicated team of moderators that double check 99% of all animal adverts within 48 hours of them going live. These are just some of the procedures we follow in order to monitor our pet ads – please check out our Preloved Pet Pledge to learn more about what we do behind the scenes.
Form strong relationships to help educate members
As well as our existing relationships with PAAG partners, we are committed in continuing to work with smaller animal charities and businesses in order to educate members about responsible pet ownership, as well as communicating relevant pet welfare advice including what concerns you should be aware of when looking for your perfect pet. This information is shared via our animal welfare pages, pets blog and our various social platforms.
We are currently building up a collection of detailed dog breed guides written by external dog breed experts to encourage potential dog owners to research breeds before committing to giving a dog a home. We also spend time catching up with existing Preloved pet owners as part of our ongoing Pupdate (Pet Update) series, and share their personal experiences and advice with the Preloved community. This is just the start and we are continually looking for new ways to improve our animal welfare content, and how this information is shared with our members and visitors.
Amy Lockley, Head of the Preloved Community has said:
“Animal welfare is of paramount importance to Preloved as a team. We work very closely with PAAG and a variety of animal charities to not only pioneer responsible pet advertising, but to educate all our members. We will endeavour to work closely with PAAG to ensure that we lead the way in combating irresponsible animal advertisement online.”
Who to contact
Help us stamp out animal cruelty
If you spot an advert on site that you feel has animal welfare concerns, please let us know immediately. Once notified, our dedicated team will investigate the advert and take any necessary action as soon as possible. We are in regular contact with both PAAG and the RSPCA in regards to concerning adverts, but we welcome any information you can provide.
About the DEFRA press release
For further information about the DEFRA press release, please contact Fran Edwards in the Defra Press Office on 0207 238 6001.
Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone at PAAG, please contact Margaret Donnellan, Dogs Trust Public Affairs Manager and PAAG Spokesperson, on 020 7837 0006.