Selling Animals Online: Is It Illegal?

Selling Animals Online: Is It Illegal?
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Animals are different from other living things because of their ability to move, respond to their environment, and their lack of cell walls. It is not strange to see animals, especially domestic animals, amongst humans, either as pets or as livestock.

Selling an animal is an act of exchanging an animal in one’s possession for monetary value. There are laws (with exception) guiding this type of exchange. With the introduction of e-commerce, there are questions about if it is legal to sell an animal online or not.

On UK.Collected.Reviews, users share their experiences with shopping online, as it relates to getting animals – for consumption or as pets.

With more people buying online, there need to be guidelines on what can be sold and what should not be sold online.

Many online shopping platforms like Facebook have special guidelines concerning selling animals online. This helps people know the extent to which they can sell.

The Legality of Selling Animals Online

Whether it is legal or not to sell an animal online is a matter of the existing laws guiding each country and/or shopping platform the seller decides to sell from.

Several Animal Rights Campaigns have had great influences on the types of law guiding sales of animals, especially online. Paying attention to the effects technology has on trade, it is clear how it affects animals, and how they are exchanged for monetary value.

Being the first country to implement animal protection laws, the UK government sees animals as sentient beings and not just mere commodities.

Though it is not illegal to sell animals online as a business, some things are required before a business is granted permission to sell online. The government provides licenses to these businesses after they have met certain requirements.

These requirements include:

1.      Registration

A business that wants to sell animals online must be registered and approved, by the government body responsible for animal rights, to do so. It is not just important to have the approval, it is also important that there was an inspection during the registration process.

2.      Environment

To sell animals online, the business must be hygienic and safe for the animals that would be sold from the premises. Every aspect of the environment – for feeding the animals, cleaning them, and displaying them – must be thoroughly clean.

3.      License Display

After registering to sell animals online, the business is obligated to display the license, obtained from the approving body, in the premises where the animals are sold from.

This is an important requirement for businesses that trade animals.


Just like with every other e-commerce business, getting important information about the business matters just as much as the idea of the business. To avoid facing regulatory discipline, you must know the laws guiding the sales of animals in your location, and on the platform, you intend to sell from. Considering that animals are not just mere commodities, businesses must not treat them cruelly and must also ensure that they are not sold for cruel purposes.