Many social media platforms allow you to buy, sell and advertise products on their system. However, many of them have terms and conditions of what is and isn’t allowed to be advertised on their platform. For example, Facebook doesn’t allow users to sell animals on their platform but have only recently started to reinforce this rule by deleting adverts. But should animals be allowed to be sold on social media?
It’s a really tricky situation and I respect Facebook for having this rule because they are thinking about animal welfare. I personally don’t like the idea of animals being sold on via social media. I’m not sure why exactly I feel this way, it just doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s because it makes it easy (and free) for anyone to sell animals, which could lead to more backyard breeders and dealers of all types of animal because they can sell them easily online.
However, at the same time, I love reading horse for sale adverts on Facebook and if I was to sell a horse I would certainly consider using Facebook to create and/or share the horses advert. Also, if an animal needs rehoming, I think Facebook can be a great way to reach people to give them a new life. Because of this, I don’t think it’s a straight forward situation of it’s either okay or not okay.
I personally don’t have a problem with respected/registered dealers/breeders using social media to sell horses. I also don’t have a problem with horse owners advertising their horse for sale. But I do have a problem with it being an easy way for people to make money from animals or off load unwanted pets with minimum costs or thought for the animals future.
So perhaps Facebook (and other social media platforms) should look into a new system where they consider the number of adverts a user is placing. If the user is placing X many adverts or more, they have to provide some kind of evidence that they have a business/breeding license/anything which can help prove that animal welfare is important.
Or it could just be as simple as having to pay for any advert of an animal. If you advertise on any other horse sale website (Horse&Hound, Horse Quest etc) you have to pay to advertise. This added cost could potentially be enough to stop people breeding to sell on Facebook or relying on free adverts.
Perhaps even a mixture of both these suggestions. I just don’t think it is a black and white situation and it needs more consideration than simply allowing it or banning it.
What are your thoughts on selling animals via social media?