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Animal welfare: Trade Me's approach

Learn more about what we do to help ensure animals are treated properly, and can find a happy life in a good home.

By Trust and Safety 10 November 2023

We're animal lovers at Trade Me and we work hard to promote positive animal welfare.

Our role

The sale of animals is unlike any other category on Trade Me, because the 'item' for sale is a living being.

We work with organisations such as the SPCA to help keep Trade Me a safe place, and to ensure the welfare of animals being rehomed.

Whether it be responding to our community's complaints or going above and beyond the law in our policies – keeping animals happy and healthy means a lot to us.

What we do

We care about the welfare of animals, so here are a few points on what we do behind the scenes.

Listing an animal

  • Pets can only be listed as classified (asking price only) listings, rather than by auction. This lets sellers vet potential buyers to make sure animals are going to good homes.
  • Classified listings allow buyers to do their research and due diligence before committing to buying an animal without the pressure of bidding.
  • We have a Code of Animal Welfare and and animal listing policy. These go above and beyond legal requirements, for example, capping the number of litters and animals a member can list in a 12 month period.

Reporting listings

When a complaint is made via Community Watch, our teams will review the listing and decide on the best course of action, in the interests of the animal.

  • We work with the SPCA and their animal welfare inspectors so that any issues can be dealt with quickly, fairly and with expert advice.
  • When a complaint comes through, we'll investigate, look at the evidence, talk to the SPCA, remove listings, restrict sellers, or ban them if appropriate.
  • We may decide that leaving a listing onsite is best for the animal if it's subject to miserable conditions so that we're not delaying it going to a good home.
  • Where we think there is animal abuse, we'll support SPCA enforcement action against anyone using Trade Me. Check out our Transparency Reports for more info.
  • We can only act on evidence and expect all of our members to treat each other with respect in their communications with each other.

Why aren't animal listings restricted to approved sellers?

Because of the sheer number of listings, it's not possible to pre-vet listings or "authorise" pet sellers.

Restricting the ability of everyday Kiwi to list animals would prevent genuine sellers from rehoming animals that they can't care for properly. That's not in the best interest of the animal in need of rehoming.

Have concerns about a listing?
Notify our Compliance team so they can investigate.
Find out how


Trust and Safety
Trust and Safety