eBay Backs Down on Web Sales of Live Pets

Hit with a barrage of criticism, eBay has backed down on plans to sell live pets online, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Last week, eBay, which sells everything from antiques to pet rocks, had revealed the plan for an online classified ad category for live pets in early 2006.

But after 2,000 eBay users complained, eBay changed course, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. On Dec. 19, the San Jose, Calif.-based company says that it no longer intends to allow pets to be listed on the eBay website.

Under the plan that was being explored, breeders could have put up listings, paying only a listing fee. Animal shelters could have listed pets for adoption for free. Parties in the transactions would have had to contact each other privately to complete the deals, the newspaper says.

Some users feared that allowing commercial breeders to list pets would encourage people who raise animals in poor conditions and sell them, the paper says. In addition, people buying dogs for fighting was a concern.

eBay spokesman Hani Durzy says the company heard the opposition loud and clear. The feedback was pretty overwhelming, Durzy tells the newspaper. Farms and for-profit commercial breeders wasn’t something that they wanted to see.

For years, eBay has prohibited the sale of live animals, except for fish and snails, on its website. eBay may still add a pet services category, in which dog walkers and groomers could offer their services, Durzy says.

Posted: Dec. 28, 2005, 5a.m. EST

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