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‘THE market and trade in puppies is largely unregulated, resulting in welfare problems with puppies and the breeding stock, dissatisfied and often distressed consumers and a hidden economy. Legislation has failed to keep up with radical changes in how puppies are bred and sold in the past few decades, particularly the growing importance of internet sales. The growing demand for puppies does not seem to be satisfied by the existing small-scale breeder, and appears to have resulted in unregulated large-scale commercial breeding of puppies and imports of puppies from Ireland and continental Europe. This trade poses health and welfare risks to dogs.’
This is the conclusion drawn in a recently published report by the RSPCA, which ‘lifts the lid’ on the puppy trade, discussing the impact of the trade on the health and welfare of the puppies and breeding stock involved, the lack of regulation of the market and what can be done to improve welfare. The charity claims that it is the only organisation to have investigated the puppy trade in its entirety, ‘from the breeding of puppies through to the infiltration and successful prosecution of puppy dealers’. It notes that there have been many reports on the international puppy trade, but suggests that, due to its unique involvement, it ‘understands how the trade operates and the marketing tricks it uses …
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