The Waterside Action Group, WAG, the Scotland-based anti-puppy farming organisation celebrated its first successful year at its Annual General Meeting – and promised to continue to campaign to end all loopholes in existing laws and push for better laws to outlaw the insidious puppy farming trade in Scotland.
Secretary Ken McKie outlining WAG’s achievements towards its goals in the past year. Mr McKie said: "To say it has been a roller coaster ride through the year would be an understatement. Our successes include: -
l We have seen one man convicted of operating without a licence
l We have seen one man convicted in connection with the movement of puppies
l We have a further three men charged in connection with the movement of puppies
l We have seen a Local Authority refuse a licence to one premises
l We have seen parliament now taking an active part in legislation
l We have been given the cooperation and assistance of the SSPCA
l We have developed strong links with other agencies in connection with this trade
l We have built links with other campaigners
l We have developed links with Dogs Trust, Advocates for Animals, Greyhound Action and Puppy Alert.
l We have assisted a number of people who have had dogs stolen and some efforts have been successful but much to our disappointment we have also failed to locate stolen puppies and we can assure you that though we cannot be as distressed as the poor owners we can say that we are deeply distressed that we did not have as much success as we would want!
l We have seen a number of interviews on the television and radio
l We have assisted in providing details to television programmes such as Inside Out shown in the London region.
l We have seen some publications refusing to publish some advertisements
‘Depending on points of view this might not seem much but I can assure you the amount of effort that has been undertaken is immense. This is not done to one or two individuals nor is down to actions of the Group as a whole. This is down to everyone!’
Mr McKie went on to pay tribute to the work of the canine media, praising OUR DOGS, along with selected other media who had publicised WAG’s cause. ‘These members of the canine press have all supported us and have not considered opposing policies but in fact have given us united effort to highlight the peril facing these poor puppies,’ said Mr McKie.
He added that WAG had to keep the pressure on the Prosecutors to bring culprits to court and punish them accordingly as well as challenging Local Authorities over the issuing of licences to such individuals.
The need for better education of dog owners and potential dog owners is also a vital and ongoing part of WAG’s work. The WAG information stand and shows and events displayed details many of the victims of the campaign, both human and animal, along with perils in buying puppies from certain outlets. It was clear that WAG need to develop this education further.