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Scots families scammed out of Β£15m by Irish puppy farm gangs in last year, investigators claim

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Scottish families have been swindled out of Β£ 15million by Irish puppy farm gangs in the past year, investigators have said.

Criminals have flooded Scotland with puppies during the lockdown, far too sick to survive and leaving families heartbroken or facing huge vet bills.

The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) has issued a red alert – admitting the flow of Irish puppies to Scotland is now too big to stop.

USPCA Director General Brendan Mullan said: β€œWe are at an all time high as nearly two years of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the industry to skyrocket.

β€œNorthern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are of particular importance in this case as it is an easy way to market to target unsuspecting members of the public in Scotland.



The Scottish SPCA seizes six commercial low-welfare puppies.
The Scottish SPCA seizes six commercial low-welfare puppies.

β€œThe puppies are smuggled across the border into Northern Ireland and are microchipped to be presented as NI puppies. These puppies are then trafficked by legal and illegal carriers from NI to UK ports including Cairnryan. “

The USPCA estimates that a minimum of 37,000 illegally bred puppies are transported each year from the Republic to Northern Ireland to Scotland. According to a report by the organization, the trade brings in Β£ 15million to unsuspecting Scots.

He is aware that thousands of animals are purchased from Scottish homes, which often must endure the desperation of dealing with a sick or dying pet.

Dogs sold on Gumtree and other online marketplaces are often cheaper than reputable dealers, but can still fetch over Β£ 2,000 per puppy.

The USPCA is aware of 20 gangs taking dogs to the UK, some selling 120 dogs per week.

The Daily Record documented how many puppies, already extremely sick when they were pulled prematurely from their mothers, died within days of being sold.



Animals are often kept in atrocious conditions.
Animals are often kept in atrocious conditions.

Hundreds of puppies are believed to have ended up with Scottish vets after becoming ill this year.

Dozens of people have died, and many have fallen victim to the highly contagious parvo virus which is spreading like wildfire on lackluster puppy farms.

Criminal gangs from the Republic of Ireland and the north used Cairnryan Harbor as their primary channel to bring ill-behaved puppies to the UK.

Mullan said the flow of puppies was relentless. He said: β€œWe are deeply concerned about the puppy trade. Historically, this concern is at its peak during this time of year as we see an increased demand for young puppies during the holiday season.

β€œOur recently launched report, Puppy Dog Fortunes, paints a grim picture of the scale and nature of this industry, which is spiraling out of control. the

the people who sell sick and parvo puppies to the public are driven by greed and have no regard for animal welfare.



A puppy put up for sale by a dishonest dealer.
A puppy put up for sale by a dishonest dealer.

β€œAt this time of year there will be an increase in inspections at Northern Ireland ports, but there is no guarantee that all illegal puppies will be found. “

Mullan urged members of the public to pass on details of the rogue traders.

He said: β€œWe urge the public to be vigilant to avoid falling victim to these rogue ranchers – do not meet the seller in a ‘convenient’ location. Do you see the puppy interacting with its mother?

“The rogue breeder is waiting to exploit your desire for a new furry friend – and in most cases the puppy will be sick and might not survive.”

It is estimated that 90 percent of all puppy trade goes through Belfast.

It is also believed that a third of all puppies entering Scotland die and only 10% are disease free. A source said: ‘Information suggests that at least Β£ 150million is being made from sales of puppies raised on Irish farms. There’s probably at least 10 percent of that coming from decent Scottish families. “



A puppy seized by the Scottish SPCA's Special Investigations Unit.
A puppy seized by the Scottish SPCA’s Special Investigations Unit.

Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said she was well aware of the escalating problem.

She said: β€œWe are determined to do all we can to combat the large scale illegal puppy trade and recognize the need for consistent standards in these islands to facilitate law enforcement.

β€œThis is why we are working with other UK administrations to gather views and introduce new rules to protect animals.

β€œThe new rules propose raising the minimum import age for puppies to six months, which will make the task much more difficult for unscrupulous dealers.

β€œThere are key controls that can help make sure you are buying safely.

β€œThis includes meeting the puppy’s mother with her litter and making sure the correct paperwork is in place. If something is wrong, walk away and report your concerns to the Scottish SPCA.

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