The ManxSPCA has warned Isle of Man residents about the perils of buying puppies from the UK, following a Panorama investigation into the puppy farming industry.
The BBC One documentary, entitled ‘Britain’s Puppy Dealers Exposed’, went behind the scenes at a puppy farm in County Cavan in Ireland.
The undercover footage showed dogs giving birth in confined cages and then crates of puppies being dropped off to the next person in the supply chain.
Juana Warburton, general manager of the MSPCA, said people who are thinking about buying a puppy from the UK should undertake thorough research or adopt a rescue dog from the Isle of Man charity.
‘There are many legitimate breeders both here and in the UK, but the documentary demonstrated that there are also unregistered and unscrupulous breeders who compromise their animals’ welfare.
‘The documentary showed adult dogs being kept in substandard conditions, and puppies being given little or no chance to develop normal socialisation and behavioural skills, thus storing up problems for the future. Very few people would deliberately buy a puppy if they knew it had been raised in substandard conditions and that its parents were deprived, but there is a buoyant “black market” in puppies, with families and individuals acting as fake breeders or intermediaries.’
The Panorama documentary aired last week coinciding with Tynwald’s recommendations for the island’s Animal Welfare Bill.
Animal rights campaigner Roseleen Harrison, of Port Erin, presented a Tynwald Day petition in 2014 calling for legislation to protect our animals equivalent to that in the UK and it was taken up by a select committee. She started campaigning following reports of farmed puppies being brought to the island from Europe and her petition specifically called for Manx law to regulate puppy dealers.
Juana added:‘Adopting a rescue dog from the ManxSPCA means that you are giving an animal, that most probably has arrived at the Society through no fault of its own, a second chance of happiness in a loving, home environment.
‘If you can’t rescue a puppy or a dog from a rescue centre, always make sure you see a puppy and its siblings with their mother and do thorough research on the breeder, and definitely don’t buy your puppy over the internet.’