On Wednesday 21st December, MSPs at Holyrood held a debate focused on bringing an end to the illegal trafficking of puppies in Scotland. The debate took place amidst ongoing concerns about the import of farmed puppies from Northern Ireland to Scotland, which the Scottish SPCA has been working at the port of Cairnryan to disrupt.

After meeting some recently rescued puppies in the Parliament, MSPs used to the debate to urge people to consider rehoming from a rescue centre, or to ensure that they buy their pets from a reputable seller.

Speaking in the debate, local MSP Ruth Maguire highlighted how one simple way to do this is to ensure that the puppy is seen at home with a healthy mother, as is being promoted by the #NoMumNoSale hashtag campaign.

Commenting after the debate, Ruth said:

“The people who run cruel puppy farms and traffic these cute wee animals in horrible conditions thrive on us not asking questions, and not looking into where they are coming from. So it is our duty to do just that.

It is heartening that this in an issue on which public opinion is largely united, but we need to make sure that our opposition to the illegal trafficking of puppies, and to their being farmed like commodities, is translated into action, by continuing to raise awareness of these issues, and by encouraging people to think very carefully both about getting a puppy, and about where they are getting it from.

And as the festive season approaches, we should always keep in mind, and remind others, that a puppy is for life, and not just for Christmas.”