From the Viewsroom

An online sale most foul

PT Jyothi Datta | Updated on September 24, 2020 Published on September 24, 2020

E-commerce sites need to stop selling live animals on their portals

Late last month, a message did the rounds of a baby orangutan illegally imported into India and kept in captivity in the heart of South Mumbai. The people behind this crime fled with the animal, even as the Mumbai police and pro-animal organisations got wind of this illegal custody. A cash reward and support from Member of Parliament Poonam Mahajan led to a First Information Report being filed against two suspects. But the orangutan, which should be free in the forests of Malaysia or Indonesia, is, sadly, still missing. It is against this backdrop of the inhuman trade of animals, especially exotic ones, that a recent letter by actor John Abraham to online portal Quikr assumes importance.

“By allowing dogs, cats, and other animals to be traded via your platform, Quikr is putting animals at risk of being cruelly housed and transported as well as being obtained by abusive people or impulse shoppers who are simply not prepared to provide them with lifelong care,” Abraham, a long-term supporter of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), wrote, urging them to join OLX India and other leading websites by banning advertisements for live animals.

Outlining the circle of abuse, he wrote that “free adoptions” offered on Quikr have included roosters and goats — which may be procured for illegal fighting or slaughter. Just last month, OLX India said it would remove all live animal listings from its website and updated its policy to prohibit all trading in live animals, PETA said. The online medium makes it easier for breeders to circumvent rules that require registration, etc., they point out.

Animal organisations are inundated with animals abandoned after they were bought on an impulse. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s to not participate in the trade of exotic animals and to make natural life choices. Consumers have the power to stop the trade, by adopting their pet from an authentic animal shelter and not buying it online or otherwise.

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Published on September 24, 2020
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