Rob Marris calls for legislation to target the cruel UK puppy trade

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Rob Marris supported in Parliament a new public awareness campaign launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to target the growing problem of the illicit and cruel UK puppy trade. Rob also calls for tougher legislation to strengthen current DEFRA guidelines, which evidence suggests are being ignored.

The puppy industry is booming, but with many UK breeders and puppy smugglers across Europe producing puppies solely for profit, all too often these animals suffer serious illness or behavioural problems later in life. Others, sadly, do not survive.

IFAW has devised a useful guide, P.U.P.S, for anyone looking to buy a puppy, to ensure they know what to look for to avoid buying an unhealthy, possibly puppy farmed animal. The P.U.P.S mnemonic, below, is accompanied by a kitsch, online mock advert for a children’s toy, the Suzy puppy. The short film depicts a young girl’s delight at her new toy puppy, but mirroring the grim reality of the puppy industry she quickly discovers that her seemingly perfect pup is in fact suffering a great deal.

Rob Marris said: “I am very pleased to support this important IFAW campaign. I have also written to the new Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom calling for legislation to tackle this cruel trade in the UK. There is growing evidence that current restrictions are being ignored quite widely, especially as regards puppies imported from the continent.

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  • Parent – Is the puppy with its mum?
  • Underage – Has the puppy reached the legal age for sale?
  • Papers – Are all of the puppy’s papers available and in order?
  • Sickness – Is the puppy healthy and energetic?

IFAW’s P.U.P.S film can be viewed here. Although the film contains no puppy footage, some viewers may find the content shocking or upsetting, because sadly the puppy trade is just that.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “We are very grateful for Rob Marris’s support for our campaign. As a nation of dog lovers, none of us wants to be part of the cruel puppy industry. I am sure people will be shocked to find out that many much-loved pet dogs in the UK have suffered a horrible start in life with ill effects that may last through their lifetime.

“In the worst scenarios, owners suffer too when their much-loved puppy quickly gets sick and dies. This is the reality of the heartless UK puppy trade. IFAW always advocates adopting a happy and healthy puppy or dog in need of a home from your local shelter. But for those who wish to buy from a breeder, we believe our P.U.P.S campaign arms people with the information they need to make the right choice.”

The P.U.P.S film was screened at a parliamentary reception for MPs and key decision makers where IFAW continued to call for legislative change to better protect puppies. MPs were presented with their own Suzy puppy toys to remind them of the need for measures to combat the puppy trade.

Mansbridge added: “IFAW stands firmly against the large-scale, low welfare commercial breeding of puppies for profit. We want to see an end to third-party sales and the introduction of tougher and better enforced licensing to tackle this cruel trade.”

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