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Scottish puppy farmer’s case ajourned

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

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, believed to have been illegally 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.

Walsh, from Brampton, Cumbria was prosecuted and appeared at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Tuesday 29 July 2003, where he pleaded not guilty. The trial has been adjourned several times, with Walsh pleading not guilty to all charges.

Walsh’s case was in court again on Tuesday October 14th and his case was adjourned until 22 December 2003 for an intermediate diet (hearing) with a trial date set for 7 January 2004.

Ken McKie, Secretary of the anti-puppy farming campaign organisation, Waterside Action Group told OUR DOGS in the summer: "The apprehension of this man is a great boon to our campaign and there are rumours that conditions within the vehicle were horrific. In one sense, this is good news, because the Crown will be able to explore the animal welfare issues and hopefully get him banned from keeping animals."

The 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.