Rogue Traders Documentary Exposes Dark Side Of The Puppy Trade
The grim reality of unethical puppy trafficking will be exposed in BBC One’s Rogue Traders this Thursday, which goes undercover with RSPCA officers to reveal the shocking truth behind this lucrative market.
The broadcast comes as new Consumer Direct figures reveal the number of complaints related to animal and pet purchases have almost doubled in two years. In 2006 the Government watchdog received 2,793 complaints, but by 2008 this had soared to 4,6271.
Rogue Traders, on BBC One on Thursday 19 February at 8pm, follows the launch of the RSPCA’s puppy trafficking campaign, which aims to advise prospective buyers on what to look for when searching for a puppy for sale.
Mark Evans, the RSPCA’s chief veterinary advisor, said:
“Puppy trafficking is a despicable, profit driven business. The RSPCA wants the public to destroy the puppy trafficking business by only buying from responsible and caring breeders. We hope this episode of Rogue Traders will raise awareness of this unethical trade.
“If you’re looking for a puppy for sale, do your homework. Make sure you know what to look for and what questions to ask. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t, so walk away. Never let your heart rule your head, no matter how tempting.”
As well as confronting those accused of running puppy farms and selling sick animals, the BBC’s Rogue Traders will give an insight into the heartbreak of those who have been caught out by the shocking trade.
Garry Green of Feltham, contacted the RSPCA when his golden cocker spaniel Alfie died of a lung condition just three weeks after he bought him from a pet shop and after more than £1,000 spent on vets bills. Garry will share his sad experience in the programme when he warns people of the tragic consequences of buying a sick dog.
For more information about the RSPCA’s puppy trafficking campaign and to watch a short film on the subject, visit http://www.giveanimalsavoice.org.uk.
Tips on buying a puppy are also available at www.rspca.org.uk/buyingapuppy.
RSPCA advice to consumers:
· Always see a puppy with its mother in the place where it was bred, and pay attention to the mother’s size, health, personality and reaction to the puppy – is it the real mother? Ideally see the father too. If you can’t see them, be suspicious
· Try to find out as much as possible about where the puppy has come from, and beware if the breeder is from outside the UK
· If you are told the puppy has been vaccinated, check the vaccination cards carefully. Be wary if the vet’s contact details are not visible, or have an address outside the UK
· Pedigree certificates are never a guarantee for the condition of your puppy, and may not even mean you are buying a pure-bred dog
· Never buy from someone who offers to deliver your puppy or arranges to meet you somewhere
· As hard as it will be, never buy a puppy just because you feel sorry for it
· If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t – use your common sense, and walk away
· If you are concerned about how you were sold the puppy, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06
· If you have welfare concerns about puppies you have seen, contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999
· Always consider instead adopting a rescue dog from an animal welfare organisation.