Henry Smith MP has hosted the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in the House of Commons to target the growing problem of the illicit and cruel UK puppy trade.
IFAW has devised a guide known as 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:
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?
“I was very pleased to host this important IFAW campaign to help make people aware of the potential pitfalls before buying a puppy which may have been farmed in squalid conditions and taken from their mother too soon, before it is eight weeks of age.
“It’s awful to think of these puppies being transported a great distance by dealers with little or no thought for their health or welfare. Their mothers suffer greatly too, being made to produce litter after litter of puppies until they have outlived their usefulness. I encourage everyone to watch and share IFAW’s film and to remember ‘P.U.P.S.’.
“As the Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, it is heartbreaking to see the suffering that these puppies and their mothers go through. I continue to raise issues of dog welfare with ministers and I look forward to discussing this campaign with fellow members of the Group.”
The P.U.P.S. mnemonic is accompanied by a mock online 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 dog is in fact suffering a great deal.
The puppy industry is growing, 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.
Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, commented;
“We are very grateful for Henry Smith MP’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.
“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.”