Puppy Farms in Poland and their MalpracticeKeith
Puppy farms in Poland
The Daily Mail accompanied animal welfare charity Four Paws as officials confiscated 12 dogs on a filthy small-scale farm in the Lipno area of rural Poland.
Two German shepherd pups were found lying in the basement of a dark and filthy outhouse. Their only food was rotten pig’s intestines, which lay rotting on the damp concrete floor.
The breeding dogs also included cocker spaniels, with bloody ears and matted calloused paws.
Julie Sanders, Four Paws UK country manager, said breeders were selling their pedigree puppies at Polish markets for less than £100 to unscrupulous dealers. Once in Britain, they can fetch up to £850.
‘The puppies are often badly treated and in poor health,’ said Miss Saunders. ‘Some are as young as four weeks old when sold, far younger than the legal limit of 15 weeks.
‘Taken too young from their mothers, they are transported hundreds of miles to reach the UK. This is organised international crime with a network of people making a profit at every stage.’
Britain relaxed its pet passport scheme in 2012, meaning pet owners no longer needed to wait six months after a rabies vaccination before entering the country.
The change triggered a wave in the number of puppies being brought over for sale from Eastern Europe.
Between 2011 and 2012, imports to the UK rose 1,150 per cent from Romania, 450 per cent from Hungary, 507 per cent from Lithuania and 183 per cent from Poland.
Under the rules, five puppies can be brought in per person for non-commercial purposes. But many dealers bring them in en masse.
Others enter with forged vaccination documents – putting Britain at risk of rabies.
At a puppy market in Słomczyn, central Poland, the Mail spoke to Mathius, a burly trader with two dachshunds tucked into his jacket.
Standing next to cots, cages and cardboard boxes full of thoroughbreds, he smirked as he boasted of how easy it is to import dogs into Britain.‘We sell to the UK all the time,’ he said.
‘What kind of puppies do you want? French bulldogs, chihuahuas? It is not a problem.’
At the same market, a man called Roman was offering to sell a miniature pinscher for £200, saying it was the last of his litter.
Holding the shaking ‘handbag dog’, the middle-aged man said the fur on the puppy’s head would grow back ‘once it is in the daylight’.
‘It has been living in the dark, indoors, so the hair does not grow’
‘It has been living in the dark, indoors, so the hair does not grow,’ he added.
Holding the puppy in one hand, he told the Mail: ‘This is a very good price. My daughter lived in Scotland and these dogs are 3,000 zloty there (£600). This is much cheaper than the UK.’