Animal Aid

Supermarkets ban 'animals for sale' on noticeboards

Posted 19 April 2007

Following its successful Wyevale Garden Centre campaign, which ended with the company ceasing to sell pets, Animal Aid has achieved another victory for companion animals. The national campaign group has changed the policy positions of five major supermarkets regarding the advertising of pets for sale on in-store noticeboards. Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and the Co-op have all committed to a ban on this type of advert.

Animal Aid believes that advertising animals for sale in such locations exacerbates the problems of overbreeding and also encourages inappropriate impulse buys. After the novelty of a new animal wears off, people often realise that they do not have the time, money or commitment to provide for their new pet’s most basic needs. As a result, such animals suffer appalling neglect, while thousands more are abandoned to rescue shelters where they await a second chance of a happy life. Some are never found a home and many thousands are killed simply because there are too many to look after. Whilst these animals die, breeders profit from creating more, and irresponsible owners, who do not spay or neuter, allow their animals to produce offspring.

Breeders with young animals for sale regularly use noticeboards such as those found in supermarkets. The housing and welfare conditions offered by prospective owners cannot be properly monitored as breeders, unlike sanctuaries, rarely conduct home checks. Nor is a license or home check required for small-time breeders and many of their animals are kept in appalling conditions and treated as little more than breeding machines.

Says Animal Aid’s director, Andrew Tyler:

Animal Aid is extremely pleased that these high profile supermarkets have taken such an important decision. We only hope that others, such as ASDA and Somerfield will follow their lead in helping to reduce the suffering inflicted upon thousands of companion animals each year. We will continue to press them to adopt a humane and rational policy on this issue.

Notes to editors

  • In 2006, the RSPCA reported a 77 per cent increase in cruelty cases from the previous year. This included some of the worst cases of deliberate cruelty and shocking neglect. And these are just the reported cases. The callous treatment of tens of thousands of other pets will go unreported and hidden from sight.
  • For more information contact Kelly Slade on 01732 364546 ext 227, (kelly@animalaid.co.uk).
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.

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