Falkirk dog breeders need to help halt animal abuse

The Scottish SPCA and Trading Standards Scotland are appealing to dog breeders in the Falkirk area to join up with a scheme designed to stop people putting profit before puppies’ welfare.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 11:19 am

The Scottish SPCA seized over 150 puppies from low-welfare farms or dealers last year, as the COVID-19 lockdown led to an increase in public demand for puppies and bad breeders taking advantage of the situation to put financial gain over the welfare of the breeding dogs and puppies they were selling.

Now the charity, working alongside Trading Standards, wants dog breeders to join its free Assured Puppy Breeder Scheme in an effort to tackle the low-welfare puppy trade.

The animal welfare charity stated, in many instances, puppies have been taken from their mothers too early or were riddled with infectious diseases caught due to lack of vaccinations or the unsanitary conditions they were raised in.

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The Scottish SPCA has launched a free scheme for responsible puppy breeders as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle the illegal puppy trade.

Sadly, this led to many puppies passing away in their new homes or new owners having to pay for expensive veterinary treatment.

Gilly Mendes Ferreira, Scottish SPCA head of education, policy and research, said: “Now, more than ever, we need to provide assurance for the public that they are buying a puppy from responsible breeders.

“The general public can view members of the scheme through our ‘Say no to Puppy Dealers’ website and look in to buying a puppy safely from them.

“We don’t currently have any breeders in the Falkirk area so we are very keen for reputable breeders in the region to sign-up to help us tackle the low-welfare puppy trade.

"The pandemic and public demand for puppies has led to more reports to our animal helpline about unscrupulous dealers who want to make money fast with no regard for animal welfare.

“Sadly, public demand for the ‘next-day delivery’ of a puppy remains sky-high and this is fuelling the multi-million-pound low-welfare trade.

“We’ll continue to tackle traders and dodgy dealers, but we also want to highlight the breeders in Scotland who prioritise the welfare of parents and pups.”

The free voluntary scheme is available to any dog breeder in Scotland.

The Scottish SPCA has developed a framework for responsible breeding and inspectors will assess applications and visit breeding premises annually to make sure high welfare standards are in place.

Trading Standards Scotland is asking online consumers to make sure they are buying puppies from legitimate sources and to do their research before they purchase a puppy online.

Julie McCarron, head of intelligence and coordination at Trading Standards Scotland, said: “We are supporting the Scottish SPCA Assured Puppy Breeder Scheme because it gives consumers a means of ensuring that they are obtaining a puppy from a reputable source.

“It gives consumers peace of mind that their pup is likely to be healthy and is not likely to require costly vet treatment. It also helps avoid the emotional distress of having purchased a sick animal who may die soon after it is purchased.”

Visit www.saynotopuppydealers.co.uk for more information on the scheme and how to sign up.