Gumtree Ireland has banned all advertising for dogs on its Gumtree.ie marketplace, which covers employment and general goods. This decision followed a change of ownership at the company earlier this year.
In July 2020, an online pressure group called Do Better Done Deal was created to promote the enforcement of regulations regarding the sale and supply of pets in Ireland. A month later, DoneDeal (a subsidiary of Distilled Media – the dominant player in marketplaces in Ireland) banned dog ads.
Following Gumtree’s decision, Do Better Done Deal issued a statement: “Over the last 18 months, we have tracked their adverts and we can categorically state and prove that Gumtree.ie has been used by illegal importers, illegal puppy farmers, legal puppy farmers who seek to hide who they are from unsuspecting buyers and, last but not least, pet flippers, who have conned people looking to re-home their dogs, only to turn around and sell them on for a profit.”
Tim Kirby, founder of PetBond, which describes itself as “the safest and most ethical way to buy dogs in Ireland,” told website Belfastlive.co.uk: “This is massive news from Gumtree, and I welcome it wholeheartedly. The fact that they have announced this decision will be enough for many people to understand that there is an issue that is being addressed by a huge company and individuals can address it too … More people are recognizing the issues of animal welfare and due diligence are vital.”
An investigator working with Belfast Live commented: “It’s a massive blow for illegal breeders and smugglers. They have relied on Gumtree for a long time – it gave them an easy route to endless cash deals, but that has been closed down … But these people will not be easily put off. They will undoubtedly try to find another way to get easy sales.”