BAN UNLICENSED PET TRADING IN THE UK!
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Before anything, I need to share my story. Last Thursday, someone broke into my house and stole my lovely companion - the handsome petition ambassador in the picture. Police did everything they could. The forensic officer warned me about the lack of police resources to recover him and she told me to make sure I make him "too hot to handle online".
Thanks to all my friends who helped to spread the word online and special thanks to the animal welfare officer from Islington council who found him on the streets after being dumped by the criminals, he is back with his family, safe and sound. During the traumatic process of recovering him - certainly the worst experience of my life - I realized that this was a common crime in the UK.
Did you know that FIVE dogs are reported stolen in the UK every DAY but only ONE is recovered?
Did you know that literally ANYONE CAN SELL A PET ONLINE?
If a pet is stolen, brought into the country illegally and/or comes from a terrible puppy farm they can still be sold online just like a pen or any other cheap product.
Yes, that’s right! The so-called best friend, the perfect companion to so many people in need, a member of the family to so many of us, our priceless pets can easily be sold online just like any other undesired second hand item.
Around 90% of pet trading happens online. As of TODAY, there are 4,185 Dog for Sale ads on freeads.co.uk, 5,398 on Gumtree, 11,941 on Preloved.co.uk and a staggering 16,730 on Pets4homes.co.uk: A TOTAL OF 38,254 ADS on only 4 websites. And this is just dogs.
It is estimated that 70,000 puppies were imported into UK last year to be sold online via criminal gangs pretending to be reputable breeders. According to The Kennel Club, 20% of puppies bought online WILL DIE WITHIN SIX MONTHS.
The UK government plans to tighten up laws around selling pets and breeding dogs and will require anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year to apply for a formal licence. Irresponsible breeders who don’t stick to these rules face an unlimited fine and/or up to six months in prison according to its own website.
This is clearly not enough to stop illegal and unhealthy irresponsible trading, we need to REGISTER AND LICENSE EVERYONE SELLING A PET. The whole process of selling a pet should be tracked and regulated. Micro-chipping is already mandatory by law, therefore there is no reason why this is actionable.
In terms of the punishment of offenders, there was a new bill consultation that ended in January 2018 aiming to increase the maximum penalty for animal cruelty from six months to 5 years in prison.
If we can ban unlicensed pet selling along with the approval of this new law to include tougher punishments, we will be one step closer to a fairer world to our beloved companions.
For all the priceless animals, with love.
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