Scottish Government plan second puppy-trafficking awareness campaign

22 January 2019

BSAVA members in Scotland will be interested to hear of the Scottish Government’s plan for a second puppy-trafficking awareness campaign. Emma Harper MSP has welcomed the news that the Scottish Government plans to run a second campaign to promote the responsible purchasing of puppies, following the success of last year’s Buy a Puppy Safely message.

The Scottish Government’s Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon revealed during a Ministerial Statement on Improving Animal Welfare to Parliament on Wednesday afternoon that last year’s campaign saw a rise in traffic to the Scottish SPCA’s website and saw calls made to charity related to puppy trafficking rise by 130%. Further information on the success of the campaign will be made available to the public once it has been collected.

Ms. Gougeon said during the statement:

“Last year we funded an innovative and hard hitting public awareness campaign on social media, cinema screens and local radio to reach potential buyers that we know are difficult to reach by other media platforms and channels.

We worked closely with all the main dog welfare charities in designing that campaign which aimed to direct anyone thinking about buying a puppy to a website hosted by the Scottish SPCA for more detailed advice.”

The BSAVA Congress 2018 featured a session on the illegal puppy trade across the UK which included speakers from SSPCA and Dogs Trust. The theme was continued in an articles in Companion article, The Scottish war on puppy farming, which can be accessed through the BSAVA Library.