Anibis has developed the “VeriPet” control system, in collaboration with the NGO “Four paws”. While around 20,000 ads for dogs for sale are published each year on the platform, this will now be impossible for unscrupulous breeders.
The figure is impressive: more than a hundred dogs or puppies bought via online classified ads arrive in Switzerland every day. These animals sold at low prices generally come from foreign farms, often in Eastern Europe, where they live in unworthy conditions.
They come from farms where the break between litters is not respected, where the conditions of detention are disastrous and when the animals arrive in Switzerland after a long journey in the cage, they are sometimes sick.
Their vaccines have not been made, some vaccination records are even falsified. Animals may exhibit behavioral problems because they were separated from their mother too early and were not socialized.
A very lucrative business
According to anibis.ch, approximately 20,000 offers of dogs for sale pass through its site each year. Foreign farms offer very low prices, in direct competition with animals from serious farms. These sales generate astronomical profits.
According to Sylvie Jetzer, spokesperson for the association “Quatre pattes” interviewed in the program “On en parle”, approximately 2.4 million dogs are exchanged each year in Europe on the internet, for an estimated amount of 1 .5 billion euros.
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Counter animal trafficking
In collaboration with “Four paws”, the operators of the Europetnet pet registry and the Swiss database Amicus, the anibis.ch platform has developed the VeriPet system to monitor advertisements for the sale of animals.
It makes it possible to verify that the person selling the animal is indeed the owner who corresponds to the chip number. Since 2018, the law stipulates that a dog must be microchipped and registered in the national Amicus database. This database makes it possible in particular to find the owners of lost animals.
Today, anyone who publishes an ad on anibis.ch must accept verification of their data as owner, as well as the dog’s microchip number, via the Amicus database. If they are missing, because the merchant is abroad, it is impossible to post a review. The VeriPet system guarantees data protection: anibis.ch does not have access to the personal data of sellers.
A big step for animal welfare
“Four Paws” hopes that other classifieds platforms across Europe will adopt the VeriPet system, in order to strengthen the fight against illegal animal imports. This is already in the test phase in Switzerland and Ireland, precursors in Europe.
The general public must inform themselves about the breeding conditions and be aware of the risk incurred by adopting dogs from fraudulent breeding. Certain “fashionable” breeds are suddenly popular on the internet.
Caution, alert “Four paws”: it is better to wait and adopt a dog whose price will be higher, but raised in good conditions. A guarantee for the well-being of the animals but also the insurance for the new owners of not having any unpleasant surprises with a sick or unsocialized animal.
Isabelle Fiaux / Meili Gernet