New campaign targets the cruel UK puppy trade

New campaign targets the cruel UK puppy trade
Tuesday, 13 September, 2016
London

A new public awareness campaign is launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) today to target the growing problem of the illicit and cruel UK puppy trade.

The puppy industry is booming, but with many UK breeders and puppy smugglers across Europe producing puppies solely for profit, all too often these animals suffer serious illness or behavioural problems later in life. Others, sadly, do not survive.

Many people are unaware that the puppy they are buying may have been farmed in squalid conditions and taken from its mother too soon (before eight weeks of age) before being transported a great distance by dodgy dealers with little or no thought for its health or welfare. The mothers suffer greatly too, being made to produce litter after litter of puppies until they have outlived their usefulness.

IFAW has devised a useful guide, P.U.P.S, for anyone looking to buy a puppy, to ensure they know what to look for to avoid buying an unhealthy, possibly puppy farmed animal. The P.U.P.S mnemonic, below, is accompanied by a kitsch, online mock advert for a children’s toy, the Suzy puppy. The short film depicts a young girl’s delight at her new toy puppy, but mirroring the grim reality of the puppy industry she quickly discovers that her seemingly perfect pup is in fact suffering a great deal.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “As a nation of dog lovers, none of us wants to be part of the cruel puppy industry. I am sure people will be shocked to find out that many much-loved pet dogs in the UK have suffered a horrible start in life with ill effects that may last through their lifetime.

“In the worst scenarios, owners suffer too when their much-loved puppy quickly gets sick and dies. This is the reality of the heartless UK puppy trade. IFAW always advocates adopting a happy and healthy puppy or dog in need of a home from your local shelter. But for those who wish to buy from a breeder, we believe our P.U.P.S campaign arms people with the information they need to make the right choice.”

Parent – Is the puppy with its mum?

Underage – Has the puppy reached the legal age for sale?

Papers – Are all of the puppy’s papers available and in order?

Sickness – Is the puppy healthy and energetic?

IFAW’s P.U.P.S film can be viewed here. Although the film contains no puppy footage, some viewers may find the content shocking or upsetting, because sadly the puppy trade is just that.

The film will be screened at a parliamentary reception for MPs and key decision makers tomorrow where IFAW will continue to call for legislative change to better protect puppies.

Mansbridge added: “IFAW stands firmly against the large-scale, low welfare commercial breeding of puppies for profit. We want to see an end to third-party sales and the introduction of tougher and better enforced licensing to tackle this cruel trade. We also urge members of the public to remember P.U.P.S and spread the message to others.”

The P.U.P.S concept and video were created in partnership with marketing communications brand J. Walter Thompson.

Ends

For more information, case studies or to arrange interviews please contact Clare Sterling at IFAW on +44 (0)20 7587 6708, mobile +44 (0)7917 507717 or email csterling@ifaw.org

Alternatively visit www.ifaw.org/puppytrade 

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

About J. Walter Thompson

J. Walter Thompson, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, has been inventing pioneering ideas for the past 150 years. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge - from hiring the industry’s first female copywriter to developing award-winning branded content today. For more information, please visit www.jwt.co.uk and follow us @JWT_London.

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Press Contact

Clare Sterling (IFAW UK)
Contact phone:
+44 (0)20 7587 6708
Contact mobile:
+44 (0)7917 507717
Contact email:

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