For Immediate Release:
23 December 2020
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Monica Chopra; [email protected]
Action Follows Group’s Appeals to Company, State Animal Welfare Boards, and Government Information Technology, Commerce, and Animal Welfare Authorities
Delhi – Following pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, e-retailer Quikr has followed the lead of OLX India by ending its animal sales, although there is still work to be done to make the site more animal-friendly. Quikr has shut down its “pet adoption” category in which goats, chickens, and thousands of other animals were traded under the guise of “adoption”. The company has also deleted numerous ads by dog breeders who began quietly trading animals by running ads for permitted items or services after Quikr removed its animal sales and adoption categories. PETA India has reported these ads to the company and has urged it to remain vigilant against accepting disguised ads for animal sales.
The move comes after long-time PETA India supporter and its 2020 Person of the Year John Abraham wrote to Quikr about his dismay at its practices and after PETA India appealed to the company as well as to state animal welfare boards and animal husbandry departments, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MoEIT), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to ask that action be taken against the site’s cruel e-commerce trade of animals. As a result, the AWBI advised the MoEIT that e-commerce platforms must not trade in live animals without being registered as “pet shops” with state animal welfare boards, and the Karnataka Animal Welfare Board ordered Quikr to withdraw all live-animal advertisements within the state. Meanwhile, Goa’s directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services issued a letter to its director of the Department of Information and Publicity stating that pet shops and dog breeders must be registered under the relevant rules before publishing any advertisement for any “pet” animals for trade in newspapers or electronic media or on social media. Goa’s directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services also issued a letter to OLX India and Quikr directing them both to remove animal trade postings from that state from their websites immediately.
“Quikr made the right call in ending the cruel trade of vulnerable animals,” says PETA India CEO Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA India urges everyone to adopt animals only from genuine shelters that treat dogs and cats as the living, feeling beings they are rather than as tradeable household goods.”
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, require every pet shop and dog-breeding establishment to obtain registration and comply with other requirements prescribed under the Rules. Quikr had never acquired such a registration and failed to ensure that its users had one, either.
At first, after ending its animal sales, Quikr claimed to offer free “adoptions” – even though many of the ads were clearly from dog breeders anxious to make a sale. PETA India pointed out that true adoptions can only be ensured by working with reputable and registered animal protection NGOs, which make sure that adopters are prepared to give a lifelong home to animals, many of whom have been abandoned after being obtained on impulse through pet shops, breeders, and websites like Quikr. Moreover, the “free adoptions” offered on Quikr have included goats prior to Eid as well as a marmoset and a rooster to be used for illegal fighting – traders had tried to elude authorities by demanding payment for animals advertised as “free” in messages exchanged off-site.
“Each time someone buys a dog or a cat from a breeder or a pet shop or through an online retailer, an animal on the streets or sitting in a shelter loses a chance of finding a home,” says Dr Manilal. “Unwanted animals are often abandoned and struggle to survive. Many go hungry, are deliberately injured or killed, are hit by vehicles, or are abused in other ways. PETA India urges those with the time, patience, love, and resources to engage in true adoption by visiting their local animal shelter.”
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.