The Dug Faictory

Puppy Trafficking debate at Scottish Parliament Pic shows springer spaniel puppies Wyatt and Serge with Amy Burke from the Scottish SPCA For more details see press release. Pic Peter Devlin

Forrit tae an end tae the wrangous pauchlin o puppies in Scotland

Oan Wadensday 21st December, ah hud the preevilege o leadin a debate in the Scottish Pairlament aboot the sleekit, foutie an hertless practice o the wrangous pauchlin o puppies in Scotland. Forby cawin fur chygnes tae mak the existin legislation mair strang, the debate ettlet first an foremaist at heizin fowk’s kennin o the issue. Ah’m gled tae noo mak readers of Bella mair aware o the issue tae.

Sae whit daes wrangously pauchled mean? At its maist semple, it means dugs comin tae the UK:

• fae Ireland, the EU an Northern Ireland, syne tae Scotland, wioot the necessar legal documents sic as EU pet passports
• fae muckle industrial-sized ferms whilk dinnae uphaud best animal welfare practices

In the UK, aroon 10% o whelps come fae licensed breeders. The ither 90% o dugs are importit, rescued, or come fae unlicensed breeders. Throu ma wark oan this issue, ah’ve learned that mony hunners, even thoosans, o puppies are pauchled ivery year throu the port o Cairnryan. It is estimatit that this wrangsome chorin o dugs cud be wirth atween £100 to £300 million annually – a tax avoidance, siller-in-haun economy.

Forby siller, it means shilpit an daeless wee animals doon-haudit in haithenly scunnersome condeeditions an sufferin ayont belief.

The Animal Health an Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 states:

A body commits an offence gin the body daesna tak sic complowsible steps tae mak siccar that the needs o an animal are met. Thir needs are:

a suitable environment an diet, tae can exhibit normal behavior paiterns, tae be hoosit wi ither animals, an tae be be fendit fae sufferin, skaith an disease.

In the case o wrangsome pauchlin, nane o this is happenin. Insteid, puppies are bein bred oan an industrial scale unner factory-lyk condeetions. As mony as five hunner bitches hae been coontit in ane facility. Some pauchlers purposely stairve an dehydrate the puppies, fur shilpit an lowden puppies mak less din, makkin thaim undetectable!

The welfare crimes an abuses insnorlt in the puppy trade are faur-reachin.

Thai stert wi the mither – a breedin bitch haudit on an ower-thrang puppy ferm, ower-bred an devoid o human contact. Ane ferm that we ken o yaises an automatit feedin system sib tae anes yaised in battery fermin. It’s a darg-savin device, an further daes awa wi the need fur human contact. In sic settins, the mithers bark the hale time, makkin a unco racket, whilk isnae the ideal whelpin or birthin environment. Ane pauchler is even kent tae hae applied fur a haun-gun license wi the specific mynt tae dispose o the mithers whan thai cuid nae langer produce litters. The bitches are schauchlet aff lyk auld shuin. This is foutie, this is laithsome, this is illegal.

Haudit in mort-cauld trailers elsewhaur on thir ferms are the pups – jist weeks auld – torn awa fae thair mithers, feart an frichtit, an cooried in thegither fur warmth.This ower-early separation fae the mither can affect thair immune system, leavin thaim suspectible tae daithly diseases sic as parvovirus, whilk can kill jist deys efter an unkennin buyer haes bocht the pup – mony’s the time fur hunners o poonds.

New pup owners hae described veterinary bills o ower ane thoosan poond ettlet at helpin tae save thair brand new wee pups – pups whilk ultimately dee efter a few days, a hert-brekkin experience fur the new owners, aften bairns amang them.

Even gin the puppy tholes throu, mair difficulties await. The lack o guid an proper socialisation at an early age will like eneuch cause behavioural issues, makkin thaim difficult an even dangerous pets.

Forby aw this, experts hae set oot the gey real risk that rabies cuid enter the UK throu the dog pauchlin route.

Aw thir issues an mair wis exposed in the 2015 BAFTA award winnin BBC Scotland documentary ‘The Dug Factory’, whilk ah wid encourage awbody tae watch.

Noo thir are positives amang aw this. Mony guid fowk an organisations are warkin gey hard tae airt oot, tae fleg, tae taigle an even tae detain yon ill-daers whae perpetrate the ugsome an wrangous puppy chorin trade. Ah’d lyk tae gie ma maist hertfelt thanks tae a few in parteecular, amang thaim mony whae hae gied me muckle help as ah campaign oan this issue: TV Vet Dr Marc Abraham, whae biggit up the PupAid campaign; ma Westminster colleagues, Dr Paul Monaghan, Dr Lisa Cameron, an Richard Arkless; the campaigners Eileen Bryant an Raymond Carvill; the SSPCA’s investigation unit, Mark Rafferty an his team, in parteecular thair Operation Delta thegither wi the ferry operator Stena Line, Police Scotland, an HMRC; an the tradin staundarts staff o Dumfries an Galloway Cooncil.

Scotland is a kintra o animal lovers, an ah strangly believe that pairt o the task aheid o us is tae mak the public aware o the horrors o the trade, an tae forder best puppy purchasin prattick.

Onybody buyin a puppy shuid:

• mak siccar that thai see the dugs in a hamely environment thegither wi the pups’ mither
• mak siccar that breeders keep the pup until it is auld eneuch tae be rehamit
• insist oan seein the necessar sale documents

Legitimate breeders will hae nae problem wi this, an gin ony excuse is makkit aboot this nae bein possible, fowk shuid gang awa an contact the SSPCA.

Naebody shuid ivver buy a puppy in a public place sic as a car park, an alarm bells shuid be dirlin gin this is suggestit by the seller.

The twitter hashtags #NoMumNoSale an #WheresMum are myntit tae help educate fowk aboot this.

Forby the Government cuid conseeder chyngin the law in sum o the follaen weys:

• endin third perty sales
• purchase directly fae licensed breeders anely
• biggin a naitional register o approved breeders
• gie cooncils the abeelity tae self-fund licensing
• conseeder a minimum ratio o human tae dug in breedin estaiblishments fur tae mak siccar that adequate human contact an health observation is achievit

By addressin some o the issues ah’ve set oot heid oan, Scotland cuid lead the wey no jist in the UK but ower the warld.

Ah luik forrit tae the Government’s response, an atween hauns encourage awbody tae dae thair bittie tae heize kennin o thir issues, an, as Yule fast approaches, tae aye mind that a dug is fur life an no jist fur Yule.

Mony thanks tae Ashley Douglas fur helpin me fin the richt wirds tae set this furth in Scots.

Emma Harper is an SNP MSP fur the Sooth Scotland region.

Comments (3)

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  1. c rober says:

    hauf the battle here is the extraordinary shit going on in the dug game , preventative breeding on sales and buyers contracts along the lines of and I am not joking here – “the breeder reserves the right to breed fae yer dug efter ye buy it”.

    Back in the day if yer line wis gud , ye never hud a problem with an owner starting their own , but wid guide a good owner looking to breed their own line ethically , today however when a dug can cost upwards of a grand then ye kin see the motive…. and its naw just Irish ferms , but those psuedo ferms in Scotland mostly in rural central belt.

    Ye kin also add to or creating the problem the designer dugs , teacup breeding , or mix breeds as “non alergenic” were also a start towards creating shit like the puggle. This as our oldest breeds die off due to being bred incorrectly , or too much hassle , for a dug with “form over function” with closer and closer line breeding and judges that know feck all on said function. The EU , well some of those countries have it right though , to be a CH then the dug must also be seen to function in the original working capacity.

    But if ye still read the dug press you would be fooled into thinking that the breeders are those with the most interest in dugs – and it can be far from the truth.

    Scotland needs a proper KC , not a powerless office in Edinburgh , it needs to have power over registration and with it best interests policies into breeding out problems.

    I can speak with experience on how even the kennel club can be bettered , or breeders , but wont even try , in that dogs arent living long lives in the show game dying at 6 years old as multinational champions , dying from congenital problems , but there is no database nor intent to use this as a reason to prevent breeding. Of course much has been made though about this in recent years from anti crufts campaigners , but little in improvement overall.

    The dug game stopped being about fanciers sharing and caring , once the liveried vehicles came in then it became about 2nd or 3rd incomes that began to pay for mortgages .But our most esteemed Scottish and English breeders will still say the problem lies with “back st” breeders not with themselves.

    For that selfish income protection reason in came said preventative contracts on ownership , disguised as best practices and agreed with the KC – and 15 years later the problems I spoke about back then in the dog papers and online groups are all well proven.

    Those that derive an income from something , be that dog or human politics , are the very last ones you want to create legislation…. it will always be in their favor.

  2. Duncan says:

    Braw scrievin Emma, Ah didnae ken anyhin aboot this issue afore readin. Keep up the scrievin!

  3. c rober says:

    Dugs , not one of these SNP Mps have mentioned the creation of a new SKC , the Scottish kennel club , as a new proper institution for the registering of Scottish Bred dogs , and for the long term betterment of all dogs – not just that of disposable pedigree pose pooches , this as our own breeds die off .

    Currently the SKC is a show calendar organisor as an income generator , a minor middle man registry of breeders , so just as malicious by inaction without any real power about animal welfare , therefore just as guilty as those puppy farmers in our semi/rural communities , or high rise flats , yet offering themselves as the saviours of canines , but conveniently pointing the finger at Irish and EU importing.

    Until the SNP start asking the bigger questions about a proper Scottish kennel club , then its just media fluff pieces portrayed as benevolence. You would have thought that this is where in the last 20 years we would have seen some progress from Hollyrood , but no.

    So shut up SNP , do something worthwhile other than shopfronting the party with any and all reasoning for ink , stop the whinging , and instead create and demand a Scottish kennel club with ACTUAL power.Set up a damn committee , or a dept “SMAF plus Animal welfare in Scotland” , Just off the top of me head… and no doubt could be added to further by proper dog clubs and vet university.

    1.Registrations on par to the KC proper for pedigree puppies born in Scotland , income generating for empowering the SKC in order to combat real problems , not merely protecting the breeders incomes , as well as funding yearly vet uni inputs on what is indemic in breeds or any dogs health. An offshoot of the SKC that is independent of pedigree breeds for dog licencing ,education etc.
    2.Animal welfare , registered breeders at council level , inspected by welfare inspectors , a legislated mot for pups ie innoc just like chipping. Death registering , showing trends , ie obesity , infections , thus data to show possible epidemics in real time.
    3. Dogs in defined acceptable areas , ie no more than two owned bitches in a defined house size , or amount of dogs owned.
    4.Heated kennels in rural breeder homes and outbuildings , with independent meter reading.
    5.The introduction of a proper digital registry.
    6.Using a champion database , to investigate early deaths of champions , preventing problems futher down the line and erasing the historical CH status of that Sire and dam from future registrations lineage with death age notation.
    7. A return to dog licences , not just for dangerous breeds , but the ownership of dogs in general as both education of ownership as well as a preventative measure to maltreatment.
    8. Legislate the minimum breeding age of bitches and maximum , as well as amount of lifetime litters. Random DNA testing to prove paternity , maternity , as well as show accidental matings thus illegal close line breeding.
    9.Make it illegal to sell dogs online other than through a new SKC , as well as advertise for sale KC unregistered dogs as full breeds.
    10. The introduction of “working ability Championship status for working breeds” , just like those KC on the continent , proving the health of working lines at the genetic level as well as ability – getting rid of the likes of sloping backs and dodgy hips etc over time.
    11. Yearly review from Vet Uni , via working vet questionnaire , then on to a SMAF and animal welfare dept , highlighting problems within the canine sphere , leading to preventative action not reaction , and increased or review of legislation and enhancement.

    There is so many things that can be done with a new SKC , as well as a wider SMAF , an opportunity for the betterment of animals , not the income of those decrying imports – that are perhaps breeders themselves and thus have a personal and ulterior motive.

    And while we are at it how about a 20 year plan to prevent open door ownership of cats , keeping house cats exactly that , instead of them destroying the local wildlife and burying toxiclara infected merde in other peoples gardens where their children play. Including Chipping and a yearly check up , as well as licences and innocs.

    Once again SNP , could try harder.

    Go big or go home.

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