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Shocking rise in puppy farm calls
GREATER Manchester has been dubbed the puppy farm capital of the country after the RSPCA revealed calls concerning the animal trade have risen 90 per cent.
A total of 217 calls concerning puppy farms in the county were made to the charity up to the end of November, compared to 114 in the whole of last year.
The increase follows a number of high-profile RSPCA investigations and prosecutions – including a father and son who illegally sold puppies from a farm in Walshaw.
Jeffery and Richard Speakman, of Bentley Hall Farm, were banned from keeping dogs for 10 years after a joint RSPCA and police raid in May seized 137 dogs, many of which were thirsty, in pain or suffering from untreated medical conditions. In November, two people were arrested on suspicion of animal welfare offences and 45 dogs seized from an address off Rectory Lane in Prestwich.
Chief Inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s special operation unit, said: “The number of calls we’ve received this year about puppy farms and puppy trafficking is truly shocking.
“We have investigated claims of puppies being bred or kept in poor conditions, before being sold to generate huge profit, for many years.
“However, the percentage rise in the number of calls we received since January is extremely worrying.
“People are making thousands of pounds off the back of breeding and importing sick puppies. There are no two ways about it – it is organised animal crime.
“While people keep buying puppies from these people, they will keep selling them.”
Across England and Wales the RSPCA received 2,034 calls regarding puppy farms this year – a 21 per cent rise on the 1,678 recorded in 2012.
Second highest after Greater Manchester was Greater London, where 134 calls were logged, with Essex third after receiving 87 calls.
Chief Inspector Briggs said there were also serious concerns about the origin of many puppies being sold via the internet and classified adverts – with some imported from across Europe.
Some may be sick or could suffer behavioural problems as a result of being kept in unsuitable conditions, with little or no human interaction.
Chief Inspector Briggs added: “Many are sold with false vaccination certificates and probably won’t even have had the most basic inoculations.
“We often hear about puppies that become very sick or die within days of arriving in their new homes.”
The RSPCA and Animal Welfare Foundation last year launched the Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack, which was created to give buyers the best chance of getting a fit, healthy happy and well socialised pet.
People who wish to report the sale of sick puppies to the RSPCA can call 0300 1234 999.
For more information on The Puppy Contract: go to puppycontract.org.uk
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