The RSPCA has revealed a list of the UK’s puppy farming hot spots.
With reports of puppy farming reaching record levels, the RSPCA has released statistics showing the number of calls about puppy farms has more than doubled during the last five years.
So far this year, the animal welfare charity has received 3,232 calls – a 122% increase from five years ago.
RSPCA assistant director of public affairs David Bowles said, as the problem grows, the need to bring in regulations surrounding the sale of puppies is all the more urgent.
He said: “For dealers these puppies are easy money – we believe they buy them in from Ireland and the continent for around £100 and then sell them on the internet for many hundreds, even thousands of pounds.
“Dealers buy puppies in bulk looking for the highest profit margin. Often the puppies are too young to be away from their mothers and are sick when they are loaded on to vans before travelling hundreds of miles, which is likely to be incredibly stressful and could exacerbate any disease they already have. A lack of socialisation also increases their chances of long-term behavioural problems.
“These people are gambling with the lives of not just these puppies, but the dogs they are bred from too. They are playing with the emotions of people and families who take them on as pets.
“We want to see tougher regulations in place around the sale of puppies.”
In a bid to raise awareness about the puppy farming industry in the run-up to Christmas, the RSPCA has released a rundown of the country’s “hot spots” when it comes to reports of puppy farming in 2014.
Top 10 counties for calls to the RSPCA about the puppy trade (including puppy dealing, puppy farms and puppy trafficking; based on call figures for 1 January to 31 December 2014):
- Greater London (262)
- Greater Manchester (209)
- Durham (157)
- West Midlands (148)
- Essex (134)
- Cheshire (123)
- Kent (115)
- West Yorkshire (107)
- South Yorkshire (99)
- Staffordshire (95)