In response to new research by the Scottish Government unveiled at Scotland’s first K9 Conference to tackle the illegal puppy trade, Dogs Trust welcomes some key recommendations that could pave the way for a crackdown on this sickening trade.
Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director for Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, said:
We urge the Government to improve failing pet travel legislation when the UK leaves the EU. We must increase penalties for those illegally importing puppies, carry out a significant overhaul of the pet checking system at ports and reduce the number of dogs a person can travel with. We were pleased to see some of these recommendations included in the Scottish Government’s research and we urge them to push forward with these without delay.
Shocking cases that we’ve uncovered in our three undercover investigations since 2014 clearly show that the illegal importation of puppies remains as serious an issue for animal welfare and public health in 2017 as it did in 2014. Our first investigation highlighted the devastating effects of the 2012 changes to the Pet Travel Scheme, which inadvertently allowed corrupt dealers to traffic underage puppies into Great Britain without the required treatments.
Whilst many people’s purchases may be well intended, unbeknown to them the internet has become a thriving marketplace for advertising illegally imported puppies. 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. We continue to be astounded at the lengths these deceptive breeders and dealers will go to in order to illegally import puppies to make huge profits with complete disregard for their wellbeing. The cases we are seeing on a weekly basis are horrific and need to stop.