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Say “No” to disgusting puppy smuggling!

Almost 100 puppies have been rescued from being smuggled in Wales last week, warning the worrying puppy importation to the UK.

96 puppies which were concealed behind bales of wood shavings in lorries on two separate ferries have been rescued at a Welsh port last Tuesday.


96 smuggled puppies has been rescued at Holyhead port (Photo from PA)

The illegal consignments of puppies were intercepted by Border Force on two ferries arriving at Holyhead port from Dublin.


Puppies were under the veterinary inspection (Photo from PA)

They were deemed to be fine to travel back after an initial veterinary inspection, and have been returned to Ireland where they are now taken care of by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) described the incident as a “shocking example” for the large scale of the puppy trade, with the puppies of various breeds including Beagles, Basset Hounds, Labradoodles and Pomeranians.


Puppies were kept in small cages (Photo from PA)

They were treated in a harsh condition, traveling a long time in a narrow, filthy and little-ventilated space with no food or water provided. Most are believed to be only six and seven weeks old.

Earlier this year, similar puppy trafficking cases were reported to happen in Kent, England. Mirror Online has pointed out that average 200 poorly dogs are smuggled into the UK every day.


Smuggled dogs living in an inappropriate condition

The increasing demand of “designer” breeds, such as French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Chihuahuas, is prompting a wider range of puppy farming and a surge in puppy smuggling these years. “Designer” dogs constitute 82 per cent of those smuggled into the UK according to a study by Dog Trust. However, due to the lack of proper vaccination and horrible in-transit condition, one in 10 of these puppies face the risk of death. Moreover, a significant amount of these poorly puppies is even deemed to be too young to travel.


Puppies are separated from their mother

Under the EU Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), puppies can be imported for commercial purposes or moved as pets. A report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee shows a 2,055% surge in the number of puppies being transported from Romania to the UK during the introduction of PETS from 2011 to 2015. There was an 850% increase of puppies entering from Lithuania and a 761% rise from Hungary in the same period as well.

According to BBC’s report, the Committee has recommended the government to increase spot checks at entry points into the UK and enhance the age limit of puppies that can be brought in. The committee suggested that the age of puppies entering the UK should be increased from 15 weeks to six months to lessen the commercial value of them for smugglers.


Inspection at Holyhead port (Photo from PA)

Although the government and puppy welfare campaigners are working on to stop the provoking puppy smuggling, the trade of puppy within and into the UK from abroad is still tricky. Negative puppy trading normally happens silently and can be easily hidden. People who are unsuspecting and little-informed are likely to be unaware that their behaviors may support those hateful smugglers by buying puppies from these people’s hands.

A report published by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has revealed that less than 12 per cent of puppies in the UK are bred by licensed breeders, which implies a horrific situation that puppies may suffer from.


Infographic: Let’s stop tolerating those puppy smugglers

“If you get a dog, you should look after it,” said Amy Chamberlain, who has been close with the lovely dog, Sammie, for 7 years. Every morning, they walk around  in  Roath Park, sit and have a rest on the bench together, which is bought by her family in memory of her departed husband, Roger Chamberlain.


Mrs. Chamberlain and Dog Sammie

“Sammie is a rescued dog,” Mrs. Chamberian said, “He was born in a dog home. But he is absolutely wonderful. He’s smart and he even knows I will come to the bench.”

Mrs. Chamberian also expressed her advice for people who are considering to have a dog. She suggested people get a dog from dog homes.

“There are so many poor dogs desperate for a home,” she said, “They are lovely dogs and you can get nice dogs from there (dog homes). That’s much better. And if you’re not suited to the dog, they can take the dog back. And you can also choose another dog. So you don’t have to be stuck with the dog if you can’t get with it.”

Puppy Smuggling

Rescued dogs want a home

These years, there are more and more animal charities and dog homes being established to work for protecting these vulnerable lives. People can nearly find various dogs and puppies in dog homes or rescue centers. However, it’s still important for people to say “no” to illegal pet traders and smugglers.

If you’ ve really decided to buy a puppy, please be cautious about where is the puppy from and ask to see his/her mom. Visit the breeder several times to make sure the puppy is what you really want and give more time for you and the breeder to know each other better. Good breeders will be willing to talk and interact with you more since they care where will their puppies go as you do.


Take care of this vulnerable life

Having a puppy should always be a cautious decision as it needs to be treated fairly and looked after.

  • Find more tips for getting puppy smartly, just click here.
  • For more information and advice about Puppy Smuggling and Buying & Selling A Dog,  you can visit RSPCA Online or RSPCA Cardiff District Branch.
  • Contact RSPCA for reporting cruelty or an animal in distress:  

      A) Call the 24-hour cruel line: 0300 1234 999  

     B) Use the secure online services: