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Puppy farmer case adjourned
- more puppy traffickers seized

THE TRIAL of a man named as one of the key players behind the illegal puppy trade in Scotland was adjourned until October by Stranraer Sheriff Court last Friday.

As reported previously John Walsh, 52, was arrested after leaving the port of Cairn Ryan with 49 puppies in the back of a van on July 18th, allegedly imported from Ireland as part of the flourishing undercover trade in dogs, many of which are sold on the British mainland and in the Middle East.

Mr Walsh, from Brampton, Cumbria was duly prosecuted and appeared at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Tuesday 29 July 2003, where he pleaded not guilty. The trial was adjourned until August 8th, where Walsh again entered a plea of not guilty.

The case has been adjourned with a new interim date of 1 September and a trial date of October 15th 2003.

Ken McKie, Secretary of the anti-puppy farming campaign organisation, Waterside Action Group told OUR DOGS: "The apprehension of this man is a great boon to our campaign and there are rumours that conditions within the vehicle were horrific. It also alleged that the same man will be prosecuted in Southern Ireland as well. The SSPCA and ISPCA were involved in this but I also suspect that the RSPCA Special Ops team set this up as we had pointed this man out to them some time ago.

"In one sense this is good news as the Crown will be able to explore the animal welfare issues and hopefully get him banned from keeping animals."

The next day following Walsh’s court appearance, a second seizure of badly treated puppies was been made in Stranraer. Two men were arrested following the weekend raid, when 62 dogs were picked up. The move follows a joint operation between Dumfries and Galloway Police and the Scottish SPCA.

The men were arrested after 55 puppies and 7 greyhounds were examined by the SSPCA and a local vet and found to be in poor condition. Eleven of the puppies and three of the greyhounds were kept at emergency animal welfare accommodation.

A 33-year-old man from Consett near County Durham and a 40-year-old from East Stanley have been charged with a number of offences under the Welfare of Animals Transport Order and also the Protection of Animals Act. The men are due to appear in court within the next two weeks.

It is unsure at this stage whether the two cases are linked.

OUR DOGS has been asked to point out that there is no connection with the John Walsh who is well known on the Irish show circuit and who is involved in the Combined Canine Show with his wife Joan.