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The Truth of Pet Industry in Japan-(1)
Komichi Ikeda
22 Feb 2009
Alternative/Independent Media
Today's Column

Under continuous Pet boom in Japan, the expansion of the related industries were really remarkable these days. 

Looking at the latest statistical data released from Ministry of Environment, we can easily understand the state of the Pet industry.

National level as of 2007.9.1 *1
Total Pet dealing facilities : 31,292
Registered Pet dealing traders: 39,970
Retailer: 20,195
Hotels and depositories: 14,986
Rental: 677
Training: 2,460
Display: 1,652

Since the market scale of the Pet industry was 910 bil.Yen in FY2000, it should be over 1 tril. Yen in 2008. In this statistic, pet related industry consists of pet food retailer, pet item retailer, animal retailer, pet related service (trimming, pet hotel, trainer and pet related schools).
The share of pet retailer accounts for 15% in the industry as of FY2000, it's worth around 150 bil. Yen, if the total market scale is 1 tril. Yen.

The Pet Industry Census shows that as of 2007, the number of relevant business is 26,462 (retailers: 12,941, wholesalers: 1,875, services: 17,572, breeders: 2,511, manufacturers: 1,091).

The number of retailers of dogs and cats is 6,154 around half of all retailers, it is more than any other retailers.

I suppose that many customers buy pets at pet shops.

As for retailers, it has been emerged that they buy pets not only from breeders but also from animal auctions and the Internet auctions.

As it is quite risky to buy or to procure live animals from these auction markets, even pet trade business papers warn the people who wants to start pet related business for not buying "products" with "faults" from auctions.

Actually, you can see the photos of puppies and kittens sold for auctions with 1 Yen reserve price at the Internet living auction sites.
Visit the sites below:

Living Auction sites on the Internet:
msn auction(Japanese site):
bidders auction(Japanese site):

Fortunately, Yahoo Auction Japan the biggest auction site in Japan bans selling pets except fish, insects, amphibians and pet related items, their policy prohibits animals like dogs and cats.

Looking at the international situation, eBay the biggest auction site in the world has the rules and policies that forbids selling living animals, stuffed specimen, mounted insects and even ivory (and its products).

They also have penalties for the violation of their regulation.

Essentially, insects and reptiles are also living animals, so we have to respect their lives, therefore Yahoo Auction Japan should restrict it.

Comparing to eBay's policy Yahoo Auction Japan's one is considered very low level.

Despite many people oppose to both the Internet auctions and so called living animal auctions, and created internet web sites against the pet auctions and have done sign-in actions, living animals auctions have still been popular and prosperous business model these days.

All the dogs and cats I had owned before were given by my friends or were used to stray cats, I was astonished and depressed by this kind of auction markets of living animals without any regulation by law.

This shows the poor and incomplete/imperfect Japanese governmental
regulation for animal protection.

(to be continued)