Call to sup­ports Dog Trust cam­paign

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, The Dogs Trust is call­ing on the gov­ern­ment to take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to ad­dress the il­le­gal im­por­ta­tion of pup­pies into Great Bri­tain, after an un­der­cover in­ves­ti­ga­tion dis­cov­ered smug­glers across Cen­tral and Eastern Europe con­tin­u­ing to abuse the sys­tem.

The UK’s largest dog wel­fare char­ity is urg­ing peo­ple to con­tact their lo­cal MP via the Dogs Trust web­site to in­sist that the gov­ern­ment re­vise in­ad­e­quate leg­is­la­tion to put a stop to this hor­rific trade.

Un­der­cover footage re­vealed a vet in Lithua­nia sell­ing seda­tives to al­low pup­pies to be smug­gled across the Bri­tish bor­der. Pup­pies as young as four weeks old were also trans­ported with their um­bil­i­cal cords still at­tached dur­ing a cramped 1,000 mile, 30-hour jour­ney across Europe.

In an­other shock­ing case, pup­pies were ob­served vom­it­ing and an­other eat­ing their own fae­ces dur­ing a jour­ney in a packed mini-van from Lithua­nia. Con­fined to pet car­ri­ers stacked amongst other pack­ages in the back of the van with no air con­di­tion­ing, and out­side tem­per­a­tures of 25 de­grees, the pup­pies were given wa­ter just twice and not fed at all.

Paula Boy­den, ve­teri­nary di­rec­tor for Dogs Trust said: ‘These shock­ing cases clearly show that ur­gent ac­tion is needed to stop the puppy smug­gling scan­dal.

‘It re­mains as se­ri­ous an is­sue for animal wel­fare and public health in 2017 as it did in 2014.

‘The num­ber of pros­e­cu­tions is far too low and the lack of vis­ual checks at ferry ports and bor­ders is un­ac­cept­able.

Tele­vi­sion and ra­dio pre­sen­ter Der­mot O’Leary is back­ing the cam­paign and says: ‘As a dog lover my­self I was hor­ri­fied to learn that pup­pies are be­ing smug­gled into Great Bri­tain in such ter­ri­ble con­di­tion.

‘I fully sup­port Dogs Trust’s cam­paign to in­crease aware­ness of the puppy smug­gling scan­dal.’ Paula Boy­den, Ve­teri­nary Di­rec­tor, Dogs Trust.

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