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Walmart has stopped selling dog-breeding restraints – devices that animal-rights activists have disparagingly called “rape racks” – according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The largest retailer in the world was the only big-box retail chain to sell these devices, which are popular with controversial puppy mills, according to PETA.
“The metal devices, also known as “rape racks,” are used to restrain female dogs so that they can’t fight back as they’re mounted by males,” a PETA spokesperson said.
PETA lodged a complaint with the Bentonville, Ark.-based company on Feb. 23 and within three weeks the $139.61 racks were listed as “out of stock” on the website.
Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Listed as a “breeding stand” on Walmart.com, the description says it’s meant for “large, small, medium pets” and includes photos of a large dog immobilized in the device with straps around its neck and abdomen.
“Breeding stands for dogs have been used worldwide with breeders for years, but that cannot justify their use alone,” according to a March 12 post on BreedingBusiness.com. The questions regarding the safety of the bitch during the process and the morality of its use are all part of a raging debate that has been going on for years.”
The stands are typically used by breeders who “want to mate two aggressive dogs,” according to the post.
“Profit-hungry breeders use these stands even when a female dog is not ready to mate,” according to the post, which calls out breeders who use dogs that are just six months old rather than the acceptable two years-old.
BreedingBusiness.com describes a dog that’s forced to mate when its not “ready” as “utterly gut-wrenching.”
“Nobody has any business breeding more dogs into the world already bursting at the seams with homeless ones,” PETA said in a statement. “Walmart’s decision to stop selling these despicable racks sets and example of compassion and responsibility.”
Nevertheless, the devices are still being sold on major e-commerce sites including Amazon and eBay.