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OneKind calls for ban on third-party sales of dogs in Scotland

Released to press on 20 December 2016

A leading animal welfare charity is calling for a ban on the third-party sale of dogs in Scotland.

It comes ahead of a debate lodged by Emma Harper MSP on Ending the Illegal Puppy Trade. Motion S5M-02454 will be debated in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 21st December. 

Libby Anderson, Policy Advisor of OneKind, said:

“We wholeheartedly agree that the illegal puppy trade is a blight on animal welfare in Scotland and must be tackled. As the motion states, the import of puppies from puppy farms in Ireland and elsewhere is a major concern, with determined, unscrupulous individuals trafficking thousands of dogs to Scotland alone.”

The importation of puppies from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is big business, and has been a matter of concern for many years. There is also a sizeable trade in puppies from Eastern Europe, especially Hungry, Lithuania and Poland, to the UK. 

These puppies almost invariably come from large-scale puppy farms, which can cause an array of problems for puppies including lack of proper diet, restricted access to hygiene, and no veterinary attention. These animals are very often sold to new owners with preventable diseases, painful conditions, and long-term behavioural problems due to lack of early socialisation.

Libby continued:

“The hidden cost of this business is one of animal sickness, distress and suffering, allied with heartache for the families who have to watch their new pet sicken and die. It is impossible to calculate such a cost.”

OneKind has campaigned in Scotland for years for a review of the Pet Animals Act 1951 as part of a wider review of the breeding and sale of pets in Scotland. As part of the review, OneKind insists that online sales must be looked at to ensure that the purchase of pets cannot be made without seeing the animal and the vendor prior to sale.

OneKind and many other animal welfare charities also support a legislative ban on all third-party sales of dogs, which would cover pet shop sales and dealers.


Notes to editor:

OneKind is an animal protection charity based in Edinburgh working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals.   

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