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Families in Scotland shopping for puppies on-line warned money may very well be funding organised crime | UK News

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Families are being urged to not purchase puppies on-line this Christmas amid fears the money exchanged may very well be laundered by felony gangs to help drug traffickers and different unlawful actions.

The warning comes after illegally-bred puppies bought by means of black-market commerce on social media and by way of small advert websites had been recognized by prosecutors as a “vital income for severe organised crime gangs”.

The market in Scotland final 12 months was estimated to be value £13m.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has issued a stark warning to all these tempted into shopping for a puppy on-line from unlicensed sellers – the place some designer breeds can fetch as a lot as £3,000.

Puppy farm. Pic: Crown Office
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So far this 12 months, the Scottish SPCA has obtained 336 calls in reference to suspected puppy farms and puppy breeding.. Pic: Crown Office

Kenny Donnelly, deputy crown agent for specialist casework, stated unscrupulous breeders are “working on-line and concentrating on unsuspecting members of the general public”.

He added: “We are conscious that organised crime gangs have infiltrated this exercise and proceed to make use of the massive earnings they accrue from it to inflict widespread hurt on communities all through Scotland.

“Illegal puppy farming has grown considerably amongst severe organised crime gangs as a means of elevating finance. It performs a component in financing crime in Scotland. These gangs are concerned within the distribution of unlawful medicine and money laundering.

“Therefore, it’s critically essential that anybody contemplating shopping for a puppy is conscious of the pitfalls in respect of not shopping for from official canine breeders and unintentionally supporting this merciless and unlawful commerce which exploits pets and causes them horrible struggling.”

Mr Donnelly stated the commerce is “inevitably extra centered at Christmas”, so would “severely urge” folks to solely purchase from licensed breeders.

He added: “By doing this, you might be additionally serving to to choke off a income provide to severe organised crime gangs and decreasing the hurt they inflict on Scottish communities.”

Read extra from Sky News:
‘Designer dogs’ and animal abuse inquiry launched after pandemic
Man caged dozens of dogs and cats in soiled kennels

Puppy farmer brothers jailed for animal neglect

So far this 12 months, the Scottish SPCA has obtained 336 calls in reference to suspected puppy farms and puppy breeding.

The animal welfare charity stated many pets later endure extreme well being issues and both cost their homeowners enormous vets’ payments or are too unwell to outlive their first few months.

Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, stated: “Although the low-welfare commerce in puppies has slowed as a result of ending of lockdown and the cost of dwelling disaster, we all know that unscrupulous breeders are nonetheless on the market concentrating on unsuspecting members of the general public.

“Trafficked pups typically look positive when they’re bought, however issues will begin to indicate at a later stage.

“Our message to most people stays the identical – don’t purchase on-line or from somebody the place it’s unattainable to confirm the place the canine is definitely coming from. The solely means this may disappear, and other people cease profiteering on the expense of those dogs, is that if public demand stops.”

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