Illegal puppy trade just ‘’tip of the iceberg’’ according to Dogs Trust

Demand for ‘’trendy’’ dog breeds has seen record numbers of puppies being illegally smuggled into the UK, according to the Dogs Trust.

Source: Google

There are concerns that as Christmas approaches, many people will want to buy cheap puppies as presents for their children. Often these same puppies have been put through very harmful conditions, and are ill or suffering from neglect.


The Dogs Trust recently carried out three undercover operations which saw 100 puppies seized from the ports at Folkestone and Dover.


Dogs Trust veterinary director Paula Boyden said:


“Buying an illegally imported puppy could potentially cost well-meaning but unsuspecting families thousands of pounds in quarantine and vet bills and emotional heartache for the family if the puppy falls ill or worse, dies.”


The news follows a K9 conference that was held in Edinburgh last week, where the Scottish Government unveiled new research that recommended new methods going forward to tackle the illegal puppy trade.

Edinburgh researchers are working with the SSPCA to examine the effects of intensive breeding on dogs. Source: Google

The plans include measures to change the licensing of breeders and sellers, the regulation of animal sanctuaries and the increased sentences for animal cruelty.


In her speech to the conference, Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the government was “determined to crack down on animal traffickers”,


Adding, ‘’we will work with charities and enforcement agencies to take forward the recommendations on illegal importation and sale from ‘puppy farms’. This will include a national campaign to highlight the risk of buying puppies online and rehoming dogs from abroad.”


The Scottish SPCA advises the following tips for those looking to buy a new puppy;

  •  Consider rehoming from your local shelter or alternatively only go to reputable registered breeders.
  • Make sure you can see the mum, and if possible, dad too.
  • Don’t let someone bring the puppy to you, you should be able to see the conditions they are being kept in.
  •  Responsible breeders will be open and honest about the health of the pups they are selling, you should be able to ask questions.


You can call the SPCA confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.



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