Guinea Pig

Vet campaigning against puppy farms reveals how to spot an illegitimate breeder

A vet who is campaigning against puppy farms has revealed how to spot an illegitimate dog breeder. Marc Abraham, from Brighton, is petitioning to ban young puppies being imported into the UK from overseas and appeared on Good Morning Britain today to discuss the news 1 in 4 dogs bought during lockdown, could be from puppy farms. He warned the pandemic has increased those falling victim to puppy scams, and offered advice on spotting a legitimate dog breeder, including asking lots of questions and checking the individual sells more than one breed of dog.  The tips also included making sure to look up their phone number online, and asking for documentation such as evidence of heath tests and vaccination certificates.  Vet Marc Abraham is currently calling on the government to adjust current laws and ban the exploitative import of young puppies for sale in the UK Questions to ask prospective breeders Does the breeder have photos of the video interacting with its mother at the place where it was born? Does the breeder encourage multiple visits to the site? Can the breeder provide information on vaccinations and microchipping? Is the breeder willing to sign a legal contract? Are other litters for sale brought up if you Google the breeder’s phone number? Does the breeder have more than one type of dog for sale? If the answer is ‘no’ to one or more of the questions above than you might want to think twice before buying ‘The decent breeders should be advertising more than one type of dog,’ told Marc. ‘They should show the pup, physically interacting with it’s mum, the place they were born. ‘There should be lots of questions both ways, probably more from them than you, they shouldn’t push you to buy, they should be able to take back the dog, have loads of knowledge. ‘They should provide evidence of heath tests, encourage multiple visits, provide vaccination certificates, microchipping documents even a contract.’ He advised walking away if you’re unsure about a breeder, and searching their mobile number online to reveal previous litters they have sold. ‘If you’re unsure walk away, maybe even report,  said Marc. ‘Another tip is to Google the phone number,  especially mobiles, because that can often reveal pages of litters that have been sold in the past.’ According to research by the Kennel Club, a quarter of new owners confessed they had purchased their dog after doing little research, and felt their animals could have inadvertently been bought from a puppy farm. The vet went on to explain that people can become ’emotional’ when purchasing an animal, especially after seeing pictures of their future pet online , meaning they often don’t do proper research. He also recalled a scam in which one pet owner spent £2,000 on what they thought was a Pomeranian puppy, but turned out to be a guinea pig.    The vet, from Brighton, appeared on Good Morning Britain today to discuss the news 1 in 4 dogs bought during lockdown could be from puppy farms The vet went on to explain to hosts Adil Ray and Charlotte Hawkins (both pictured) that people can become ’emotional’ when purchasing an animal, especially after seeing pictures of their future pet online’There’s so many scams around, said Marc, ‘It’s a very emotional purchase. People get carried away looking at pictures online especially. ‘A lot of people are paying money and it’s not a puppy, I heard the other day someone paying £2,000 for a Pomeranian puppy that turned out to be a guinea pig, that’s the scale of what’s going on.’ What are the laws on puppy farming?   In the UK, puppy breeders need to have a licence if they breed three or more litters in a year (or five if they are in Scotland).Two years ago, the Government in England introduced The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, which requires breeders to acquire a licence from their local authority. Similar laws govern puppy farming in Wales, Scotland, and Norther Ireland.  He went on: ‘You have to do your research, if you do your research and find a decent breeder or a reputable rescue it’s unlikely you’ll go wrong. ‘Rescues, reputable breeders these guys have got so much knowledge to share. The information is out there it’s just  case of us finding it.’ Marc is currently calling on the government to adjust current laws and ban the exploitative import of young puppies for sale in the UK, often bred in commercial dog breeding facilities characterised by quick breeding and poor conditions. ‘Another point to make is the options to buy,’ he continued. ‘Currently the legal options are going to a breeder or you can go to a rescue centre. ‘But we can currently buy them from overseas puppy farms and currently we’re trying to ban these. ‘Unsuspecting owners are doing it because they’re trying to do the right thing, they’re trying to do it legally but haven’t done as much research.’ Marc went on to predict that the influx of new pet owners during the lockdown, means may animals will be poorly socialised and will likely experience separation anxiety once their owners return to work. ‘I think sadly that may be the reality,’ he told. ‘But it doesn’t look like people will be going back anytime soon and subject their pets to anxiety, which is a very serious issue. ‘The problem with lockdown was dogs couldn’t meet other dogs, so having phobias after not being properly socialised and maybe start asking those questions now because separation anxiety needs to be planned.’ 
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