The Scottish Government, in consultation with a variety of animal welfare charities including the Scottish SPCA, is launching a new Animal Welfare campaign to raise awareness of the consequences of illegal puppy farming. At BSAVA Congress earlier this year, the Big Issues stream included a session on the illegal puppy trade with participation from the SSPCA. The stream highlighted how the veterinary profession can have a role to play in tackling the trade and was supported by advice and guidance for attendees from an experienced Trading Standards officer.
The Buy a Puppy Safely campaign is being launched now to raise awareness ahead of the large spike in online advertising of puppies in the run up to Christmas. Many people begin their search for a new puppy online and the intention is to raise awareness that buyers are more likely to buy an illegally bred puppy than they think. The guide advises buyers of the signs to look out for to avoid this. The campaign is targeted at people across Scotland aged 18 – 34, who are potentially most at risk of falling prey to illegal puppy trading.
The Buy a Puppy Safely campaign was launched by the Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon in Edinburgh, as the Scottish Government calls on the public to learn about the warning signs of an illegally-bred puppy. Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent said, “The launch of the Buy a Puppy Safely campaign is a welcome step forward in the fight against puppy farming, which is having a devastating effect on animal welfare in Scotland.’
You can find the full guidance on the Buy a Puppy Safely website.