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50,000 people join RSPCA in call to Scrap the Puppy Trade

Tens of thousands of people have signed RSPCA petition calling on Westminster government to introduce mandatory licensing for anyone selling puppies

Just three months ago, the RSPCA launched a national campaign to tackle the puppy trade in England.

The main aim of the Scrap the Puppy Trade campaign is to encourage the government to introduce laws in England to combat puppy dealers selling sick and dying puppies.

The RSPCA launched its campaign in October along with a petition which has since been signed by 50,000 people.

And a survey, carried out by the charity in the run-up to Christmas, revealed that 82% of people want to see the unscrupulous puppy farming industry scrapped.

David Bowles, assistant director of public affairs at the RSPCA, said: "We're pleased that tens of thousands of people have backed our campaign and taken action by signing our petition.

"It just goes to show that the public are also concerned about the number of puppies being traded like scrap metal with no regard for their welfare, or even if they live or die.

"We're urging all of those people out there who haven't yet signed our petition to get online and add their name."

The puppy dealing, farming and trafficking issue is on the increase and, over the last three years, the RSPCA has rescued more than 1,000 dogs from the trade. The charity has also seen a 122% increase in the number of calls about the puppy trade over the last five years.

And we are also hearing more and more heartbreaking stories from people who have bought puppies that have, sometimes within days, fallen ill or died.

David added: "Puppy trafficking is big business and dealers are getting rich from duping members of the public and leaving a trail of sick and dead puppies behind them, not to mention the heartache of families that have bought puppies.

"It is far too easy to sell puppies and current laws are failing puppies and their parents. The RSPCA wants to see Westminster treat the issue of puppy dealing in England as seriously as they did scrap metal and license anyone who sells a puppy.

"This would not stop illegal trading altogether but it would help to remove the huge layer of unregulated puppy dealing we're currently battling on a daily basis. Local authorities would have the tools they need to act and improve protections for puppy buyers too."

The RSPCA's Special Operations Unit (SOU), which investigates puppy farms, said complex set-ups are rife up and down the country.

The RSPCA is now calling for mandatory licensing for anyone selling puppies in England to try to hit the puppy trade as a whole - from organised illegal trafficking to opportunistic backstreet breeding. This would mean:
Anyone selling a puppy must have a licence.
Strong penalties & fines for anyone caught selling a puppy without a licence.
A national database of puppy sellers (funded by licence fees) to aid enforcement.
All internet and offline advertisers (like Pets4Homes, PreLoved, Friday Ad) must display the licence number of the seller in order to list an advert.

The RSPCA is now urging people to tell the UK Government that puppies are more precious than pieces of metal by signing our petition at www.rspca.org.uk/scrapthepuppytrade.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).

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