In western countries, more than half of the population have at least one pet, especially dogs and cats. Not all suppliers in this market of millions focus on the welfare of animals, however.
“Adopt don’t shop” has been a mantra among pet enthusiasts to curb puppy mills that put animals in cruel, factory line-like conditions to produce volumes of “new products” for lowered costs. Naturally, this social movement would lump legitimate breeders in the same hole as the unscrupulous ones.
To provide more clarity in the field, Swiss startup CogniPet plans to store the identity of dogs and cats on blockchain, in a bid to reduce instances of misleading and fraudulent practices.
Transparency to Allow More Ethical Decisions
In a highly fragmented market, CogniPet uses digitisation to create transparency and, via a contact function, bring serious breeders together with responsible pet owners. The app also aims to help dogs and cats in shelters to find a new home.
Using AI-based image recognition, the CogniPet app will give the pets a digital ID and validated pet industry information, which would allow potential buyers and owners to check whether buying that cute new puppy would inadvertently support unsavoury practices.
Breeders can deposit certificates, pedigrees and medical documents on their dogs or cats in the CogniPet app which is open to potential buyers. A breeder rating is also listed to support decision-making.
Pet Photos with a Purpose
CogniPet would also like to validate that pet owner impulse to document every waking moment of their furkids, because the platform contains photo and social media functions. The platform argues that the image recognition capabilities should help to reunite missing or found animals to their owners more quickly.
As with much of these blockchain projects geared towards streamlining traditionally fragmented industries, its true value would only be felt if it can grow into an industry standard and household name. For now, CogniPet stands as a pet project with some potential, and a much better association between kitties and blockchain compared to some previous infamous projects.
Featured image via The Humane Society