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Dog breeding and trade

St Bernards at a puppy farm © RSPCA

We are concerned concerned about the way puppies are bred and sold like commodities with little or no regard for their future well being. 

Puppy trafficking is big business. Dealers are exploiting the lack of enforcement of current laws at our borders and making huge profits bringing over large numbers of highly sought after pure bred and fashionable crossbreed puppies from other EU countries.

The sad realities of puppy breeding

Many of the puppies being imported travel in poor conditions, are too young to be removed from their mothers, and have not been vaccinated against disease as the law requires. Some puppies die in transit and many fall sick or die shortly after purchase leaving their owners heartbroken and lumbered with huge vet bills. 

Terriers at a puppy farm © RSPCA

Puppy dealers often go to extreme lengths to make their illegal operations appear legitimate to unsuspecting buyers. Some rent houses to make it appear as if the puppies have grown up in a home environment, others post multiple adverts on internet listing sites while using separate mobile phones for each breed advertised to disguise the huge numbers they are selling.

To help people avoid unscrupulous breeders, we and Animal Welfare Foundation have created the Puppy Contract which gives people the best chance of getting a healthy, happy and well socialised puppy.

What can I do?

Unless there are changes to both legislation and people's attitudes towards the breeding and buying of puppies, the problem will persist.

We can’t tackle this problem alone, everyone has a part to play, whether this be:


Adopt a dog

Can you offer a forever home to a dog in our care?