eBay and Etsy remove products after ear cropping concerns flagged
Two major UK online retailers have cracked down on the sale of ‘DIY’ dog ear cropping and ear straightening kits after the BVA flagged up its concerns over the barbaric cosmetic procedure.
President Justine Shotton wrote to eBay UK to flag three listings for ear cropping kits being sold by international retailers and also wrote to Etsy UK and Amazon UK to point out vets’ concerns about the easy availability of ear straightening accessories that, while not specifically requiring a dog’s ears to be cropped, help to fuel the demand for the cropped look.
After the companies were made aware of the issue and the #CutTheCrop campaign concerns eBay and Etsy swiftly removed the kits, with eBay also promising to update its filters and algorithms globally to better filter out such products in future.
Amazon UK emphasised that they don’t support ear cropping and removed ear cropping kits from their website last year, but the company currently has no plans remove ear straightening kits from sale.
Dr Shotton said: “We took action after being made aware by a few vets about the availability of ear cropping kits on eBay UK. Our research also found a number of listings for ear straightening accessories being sold via several other major online websites.
“The swift and positive action by the two major retailers is a small but significant animal welfare win for our #CutTheCrop campaign.
“While the Government has promised action to close the legal loophole that allows cropped dogs to be brought into the country from abroad, the availability of such accessories online remains hard to tackle. That is why it is disappointing that, while they have taken action on cropping kits, Amazon has declined to remove straightening kits that fuel the trend for the cropped look from sale.
“I’d encourage vets and members of the public to download and use our new template letter to raise concerns with retailers if they come across similar listings online in the future. Where such functionality exists, they may also use the websites’ online reporting mechanism to log a complaint.”
BVA’s template letter is available to download here.