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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Davies - Director

How Gumtree UK squared up to the puppy dog mafia (and why eBay needs to follow their lead)

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

When you meet someone who is good, you get a feeling, don't you? Today I met Kirsten, a vet in a rural patch just outside Frankfurt, Germany.

She fed me breakfast at her woodland cottage, introduced me to her four rescue dogs, I met her toothless thirty year old stallion, her husband and a dead puppy that she keeps in the freezer.


The last patient to see Kirsten during her Saturday afternoon clinic is a Maltese puppy, his owner wants to know if he's been trafficked and if he'll survive to see his 18th week, such is the fate of many farmed puppies. 

Kirsten tries to work out if this Maltese has been dred by puppy dealers

Puppy farming is big lucrative business, poorly regulated and is an attractive proposition for people willing to risk imprisonment in order to mass produce popular and often inbred designer breeds that fetch a high but competitive price compared to what you might pay for a sought after breed.

The market place is online – of course – and eBay Inc. has come under fire from animal welfare groups for enabling untraceable transactions between dealers and pet owners. 

What's needed, according to Four Paws, is a mandatory seller identity verification system implemented across all classifieds sites, and they want eBay Inc. to lead the way and I can see why, because eBay Inc. own Gumtree, Craigslist and similar classified listing sites across the globe – I did not know that.

This is the investigaion film we made that can tell you rest of the story.



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