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Background Info

At present there is limited ability to regulate the sale and living conditions of puppies.

This situation is being exploited by those people that do not have animal welfare at heart. They are only in business to make profit, and mostly this income is not declared to HMRC, so no tax is paid.

We would like to see the creation of a public information campaign to raise awareness of the animal welfare problems associated with puppy farming, the creation of a unique breeder number for every legitimate dog breeder and consideration given to what action can be taken by the relevant agencies to detect, deter and disrupt the movement of farmed puppies without some form of legal and recognised certification for the transport of puppies, which often takes place in conditions not conducive to good animal welfare and which can result in the avoidable deaths of puppies.

The conditions that the breeding bitches and puppies survive in are deplorable and most would not come up to the animal welfare standards that this country promotes. The SSPCA have proof of these conditions and have provided statistics of cases that they have recently been involved with:

330 puppies have been seized at Cairnryan since the beginning of Operation Delphin, and 16 cases made up of prosecutions/persons stopped illegally importing pups and pups seized/illegally trading and compromising welfare. This has been circa 18 months as part of Operation Delphin (Scotland).

The majority of these puppy farms are based in the Republic of Ireland, and importation into Scotland should comply with European Regulations, but the difficulty has been that there is an open border with Northern Ireland, and when the puppies are transported by ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland, there is currently no way of proving that the puppies come from either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. There is no current system that proves what the origin of the puppy is, and if it is in a suitable healthy state to travel.

Currently, if a puppy is being brought in from a European country it has to have a pet passport and has had to be inoculated against rabies, and therefore should not be travelling before 15 weeks of age. The SSPCA have uncovered smuggled puppies at Cairnryan as young as 4 weeks, teeth not even formed, and full of disease including parvo virus. It is only a matter of time before rabies is brought to our shores.

It is becoming increasingly clear that all puppies - all dogs - should be chipped with a unique number, and all breeders should have a unique number, so that all puppies can be traced back to point of origin, and point of responsibility.

There is also a problem with third party sales, as these callous breeders are providing, on a wholesale basis, puppies for sale that are not chipped, not vaccinated, not healthy, and very often sold with fraudulent papers.

This trade is fuelled by the public's desire for 'designer' puppies, which are crossbreeds of various forms, with no account taken of genetic defaults, and then sold for several hundred pounds to unsuspecting buyers, who very often are left with huge vet bills to pay for their sickly pups. This highlights the need for education to the general public.

We have received cross party support for the aims of this petition, and will continue to campaign for the regulation of breeding dogs, our country's beloved domestic pets.

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