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Illegal puppy trade guidelines launched

by Ellen Hardy
06 February 2018, at 2:53pm

In a first for the profession, Independent Vetcare is to release guidelines for its 500 practices, providing advice on how to educate clients and protect themselves from the illegal puppy trade. The group’s clinical board set up a working party in 2017 to study the pitfalls that vets and their clients can fall into when they (often unwittingly) deal with illegal puppy breeders.

Clinical board chairmain, Alistair Cliff, explains: “With nearly a third of puppies in the UK being imported illegally, we realised just how complex this situation has become. Both the public and the profession need to be aware of what is happening in order to make informed decisions and avoid risking themselves partaking in illegal activity.

“We have to re-appraise the advice we have traditionally given clients because these criminals have developed work- arounds for all of it. But it’s not only buyers that are being duped; many vets are often legitimising the criminals by vaccinating and microchipping puppies without challenging how they have been raised. As the UK’s largest group, with a reputation for excellence in clinical care, we thought it was incumbent upon us to act and give our colleagues guidelines on the issue.”