Tom Arthur, MSP MSP for Renfrewshire South has signed the pledge to #saynotopuppydealers in order to help combat illegal puppy farming and is urging others to do the same.
The Scottish SPCA launched, on Monday, a joint campaign with the Scottish Government, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, RSPCA, Battersea, Dogs Trust, University of Edinburgh, PAAG, Trading Standards Scotland, One Kind, Blue Cross and BSAVA to put an end to the illegal puppy trade.
The campaign’s new website, www.saynotopuppydealers.co.uk aims to be the main source of information for the public on what to be aware of when thinking about buying a puppy and avoiding illegal puppy dealers.
Thousands of puppies are born into the illegal puppy trade each year, which the Scottish Government estimated to be worth £13m in 2017 in Scotland alone. Many of these puppies are kept in horrendous conditions, are often removed from their mothers too early – causing distress, harm and health problems, all in the name of a quick profit.
Mr Arthur, said: “I am supporting the #saynotopuppydealers campaign to raise awareness of the illegal puppy trade and to help people in Renfrewshire South realise that although it can be hard to walk away from a puppy that looks like it needs your help – purchasing a puppy from puppy farms in the illegal trade will only fuel the industry and another dog will soon take its place.
“There are thousands of dogs across Scotland in rescue centres needing a home – yet the illegal trade in puppies continues to be a lucrative source of income for many. We need to do all we can to reject this trade and ultimately improve animal welfare by starving the industry of profit.
“The advice of this new joint campaign is to walk away, report your concerns, and stop the trade. I hope more people will join me and sign the #saynotopuppydealers pledge.”
Scottish SPCA Chief Executive, Kirsteen Campbell, said, “The Scottish Government estimated that the illegal puppy trade was worth a conservative £13 million last year in Scotland alone – and that doesn’t include the thousands of pounds in vet bills paid for by unsuspecting new owners.
“The growing illegal trade is, put simply, organised crime and at present there is little deterrent. While we already work with Scottish Government and our partners to improve animal welfare legislation we are conscious that demand for pups is growing and we must raise more awareness of the damaging effects of puppy farming to prevent people inadvertently funding the trade.
“Puppy farming has been a priority issue for us and our partners for quite some time. Individually we have been making some progress, but the industry has grown exponentially and it’s clear that a unified approach is the only way forward.
“We’re delighted to be working with expert partners across the UK and hope the launch of our new collaborative website www.saynotopuppydealers.co.uk helps those looking to buy a puppy learn what to look out for, and make informed choices.
“Last year we worked with the University of Edinburgh to better understand the impact that puppy farming has on dog behaviour. Our research showed that puppy farmed pups are more likely to have a genetic disorder and are more at risk of deadly infectious diseases such as parvovirus, which can cost up to £4,000 to treat.
“It is our hope that this new website will make it easier for members of the public looking to buy a puppy to avoid falling victim of this cruel trade. We sincerely hope everyone gets behind our campaign and pledge to #SayNoToPuppyDealers, helping us bring an end to this evil industry once and for all.”
Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said, “I know it is easy to fall in love with a cute puppy advertised on-line, but people should think very carefully before buying a pet this way.
“I would encourage everyone to consider whether they could provide a “forever home” to a dog in an animal shelter in Scotland, rather than buying a new puppy, and if they still want a puppy to buy one directly from the breeder where they can see the puppy with its mother.
“The arrival of a new puppy should be a happy time but irresponsible and illegal breeding can lead to hefty vets’ bills and even heartbreak for owners.
“Those involved in puppy dealing or illegal breeding can earn thousands of pounds from a single litter but while they count their cash, the dogs which they are exploiting inevitably suffer.
“That’s why the Scottish SPCA’s campaign has my full support. I urge anyone planning to buy a puppy to follow the available guidance to ensure that they making an informed choice.”
Main photo credit: Dae Jeung Kim