Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has today backed the launch of an unprecedented ‘Animal Welfare Alliance’ which seeks to protect pets and buyers online.
The alliance was launched by the Justice For Reggie campaign, a group formed by the Ackers family after a traumatic experience with online pet fraud. The Ackers bought a 12-week old puppy Reggie from an online marketplace during lockdown. Within hours, Reggie fell ill, and died just days later. The family later found out that he was likely bred illegally on a puppy farm.
Since their ordeal, Richard Ackers and his family have been campaigning tirelessly to affect change in the law and current practises. In a short amount of time the campaign has helped form an alliance including major UK pet advertising sites, all working together to share information on suspected illegal sellers across their sites and with enforcement agencies.
Gwynne is a strong supporter of the campaign, and earlier this year signed an Early Day Motion recognising Justice for Reggie and calling on the Government to implement regulatory changes to better protect prospective pets and buyers.
The alliance members have created an easy to follow checklist (see below) which will be displayed on all alliance websites, with tips on how to safely buy pets online and links to further information and resources.
They will also display information on how to report animal welfare concerns, suspicious ads and sellers, including links to a confidential reporting form which automatically sends the information to Animal Protection Services to investigate and alert alliance members.
Richard Ackers, founder of the Justice For Reggie Campaign, said:
“We are delighted to have come this far and to be able to launch this alliance with the support of major UK pet advertising sites.
It demonstrates their commitment to promoting animal welfare by working with their competitors and putting pets before profit.”
Commenting on the campaign, Andrew Gwynne said:
“This is such an important campaign, and I’m very grateful to the Justice for Reggie campaign and the Ackers family for taking a traumatic experience and using it to make real positive change.
It’s so important that prospective pet parents are given all the information and tools to make informed decisions, not only for their own benefit, but also for the welfare of these poor animals that are raised in such abhorrent conditions.
I would urge all UK Pet marketplace sites to join this alliance, and help get Justice for Reggie.