The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is appealing for vets to take part in a new puppy survey, launched in the wake of rising numbers of illegally imported puppies being brought into the UK.

As part of ongoing research, the charity is now urging veterinary professionals to fill out the questionnaire, which will help build a true picture of the scale of the problem throughout England and Wales.

Questions include what vets consider the greatest concerns regarding poor breeding, dealing of illegal import of puppies and what they think can be done to tackle the issue.

James Yeates, chief veterinary officer, said: “RSPCA intelligence suggests there is a growing illegal trade in puppies from other EU countries and it is causing serious health and welfare problems. In many cases puppies are dying or becoming seriously ill.

“Risk factors appear to include being taken from their mothers too early, not being vaccinated and having to endure long journeys in poor conditions.

“However, it’s very difficult to get a full view on the scale of the problem as many cases never get reported to the RSPCA. Vets are likely to be the first port of call when a puppy bought by an unsuspecting buyer becomes sick and may be faced with many of these cases – if, sadly, not all.

“We’re interested in hearing from vets to get their evidence from practice and to hear their ideas about how we can tackle the lucrative illegal trade in puppies.”

All information submitted will be used as part of the RSPCA’s ongoing research into the illegal puppy trade.

To fill in the survey, visit

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of