Dumfries and Galloway MP Richard Arkless has secured a debate in Parliament on Puppy Farming and the Welfare of Young Puppies.

The debate which is co-sponsored by Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow will take place in Westminster Hall on the 8th March.

Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise issues and receive a response from a government minister.

The debate will discuss the issue of Puppy Farms in Ireland and Eastern Europe and what we can do to stop farmed puppies coming into Scotland and the UK.

After securing the debate, Mr Arkless said:

“I am delighted we have persuaded the back bench business committee that this issue is worth a debate in Parliament. I have been leading on this issue ever since I was contacted by many dog lovers in the South West appalled by the BBC Documentary – The Dog Factory. I’ve been working with local representatives from Police Scotland, Stena Line, Dumfries & Galloway Council, the SSPCA, Trading Standards and influential campaigners for several months to try to raise awareness of this growing problem.

“Recently I met with representatives from The Dogs Trust at Westminster and they were very pleased to hear how seriously we take this issue in Stranraer. They were impressed by the work we have already done to obstruct this barbaric trade and agreed that a parliamentary debate on this issue would be a key next step in bringing about real change.”

“I am therefore delighted to have secured this important debate at Westminster.”

Mr Arkless went onto say:

“Puppy smuggling is an issue which effects many people in my constituency every year. As a nation of dog lovers, people are often shocked to realise just how easily unethical dealers are able to bring underage, sickly or undocumented puppies into the UK. I stress that according to the SSPCA we do not have dog factories in Scotland – we are the buyers of farmed dogs and much of the campaign in the future must educate the public more about what to look for when buying puppies.

“Locally, I have established support from DUP MPs in Belfast who share my concerns about puppy trafficking. They are ensuring from their side that security is stepped up, we are getting the message out to the puppy farmers that the Belfast to Cairnryan route will no longer be an easy touch.

“Ultimately, we need a nationwide multi-agency strategy put in place with far more being done to ensure that proper checks at ports are enforced and on the spot fines are handed out. I am hopeful that the Scottish Parliament will set up a working group after the election to look at any potential legislation changes.

“Next weeks Westminster Hall debate will raise further awareness about puppy farming and help to bring about some real change to deal with this issue once and for all.”

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