New facebook regulations regarding dog sales: A Breeder’s Point of view

Facebook’s Commerce Policies have long prohibited animal sales but in the past week, they have succumbed to added pressure from animal rights activists and have started banning accounts and deleting marketplace groups. 

Facebook Marketplace was introduced in the Fall of 2016 to bring a powerful resource to the world for buying and selling everything from toys, jewellery, and antiques to vehicles.  Any and everything except animals, and the other usual banned products such as drugs and guns became available.

Consequently, Facebook Marketplace created an easy way for hobbyist breeders and puppy mills to sell their puppies and commercial breeding has skyrocketed.  It’s estimated since classifieds and online sites have allowed the sale of pets on their websites, the puppy/dog trade has increased by 300% in North America. This resulted in a severe overpopulation crisis of dogs in Canada and the U.S, which in turn translates to 4-6 million healthy dogs (usually under 2 years of age) being euthanized yearly just in North America. 

A rapid wave of algorithms to detect words such as ‘available for sale, puppy, forever home’ in Facebook posts started last week. The second wave includes the development of a new report option and encourages Facebook users to help them comb the Facebook groups to report ads selling animals.

I’ve been a dog breeder for 30 years and we if we didn’t have breeders we wouldn’t have service dogs, police dogs, herding dogs or companion dogs (French Bulldogs).  It’s my way of bringing joy into people’s lives.

Having said that, I think the new Facebook changes are reasonable. Their conditions should eliminate the people who believe they can make a quick buck by breeding their dog to the neighbour’s dog down the street, for example.   And the people who think their kids should experience the miracle of birth or the scammers who steal photos and post as “available puppy” only to take the buyer’s deposit and are never heard from again. 

I do feel that breeders should be permitted to have REGULATED Facebook pages. Breeders could provide their website URL and their local kennel club membership number. To be a member of any kennel club worldwide, one must adhere to strict guidelines. This would eliminate backyard breeding and provide the public with some accountability and the breeder with credentials.