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A NEW law to crack down on cruel puppy farming is being put before the Scottish Parliament. Hundreds of families have been left heartbroken after buying weeks-old puppies which have died within days.

Investigations carried out by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Sunday Mail newspaper have shown how most dogs have been brought into Scotland from Ireland in cramped, unhygienic conditions.

Almost all of the puppies have come into Scotland through the port of Stranraer. South of Scotland MSP Christine Grahame is drafting a bill to put an end to the unscrupulous trade.

``Animals are suffering and families are upset when buying a pet. It is time this trade was cleaned up," said Ms Grahame.

Research by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revealed an increase in puppies being bred in Irish farms for export to Scotland. It is an offence to breed puppies for sale without a licence but it is legal to receive and re-sell them.

The planned Bill will crack down on puppy sellers to ensure animals are well cared for and will require that no puppy can be taken into a selling kennels unless at least seven weeks old.
Each puppy will also have to have a certificate to show that the farm on which it was bred meets the standards required by law.

Ms Grahame’s Bill will also require that within 24 hours of the puppies arriving in Scotland, they must be checked by a vet and micro-chipped.

Ken McKie, Secretary of the anti-puppy farming Waterside Action Group (WAG) commented:

"WAG is delighted to see the Scottish MSPs recognising the problem and preparing a strategy to tackle this. While welcoming this proposal we will be endeavouring to close any possible loopholes as well as seeking assurances from the authorities on enforcement of the legislation. This is the first step on a long march to ending the suffering caused to poor puppies. We also feel that there is a need for changes in the methods of transporting of puppies and the enforcement of any amended legislation"