In a reminder of how easy it can be to be duped into playing an unwitting part in the activities of criminals hoping to profit from dogs while having zero regard for their welfare, Yorkshire MP Andrea Jenkyns has revealed she innocently bought one of her own pets from a puppy farm which was later closed down by the authorities. In addition to an 11 per cent rise in reports of dogs being stolen across the country in the last year, the Dogs Trust has also been raising awareness of the cruel puppy smuggling trade after the charity was involved in the rescue of literally thousands of illegally imported puppies who’ve had a highly traumatic start to their young lives and have come into their care in horrific conditions.
The Government is taking action on the puppy smuggling issue through its Action Plan on Animal Welfare which will legislate to reduce the numbers that can be moved under pet travel rules among other steps. It is also introducing a new law to recognise animals are sentient beings – which have feelings such as pleasure, pain and fear; something that any dog owner would recognise as an obvious fact.
The measures are a belated step in the right direction in tackling a widespread problem.
For now, we must all be on our guard not to follow Ms Jenkyns’ unwitting lead and accidentally support the activities of heartless criminals.
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