Nearly 90 dogs and puppies—some as young as five days old—have been seized during a raid in Scotland.
Animal welfare officers made the raid in Aberdeenshire, northern Scotland, and believe the farm could be Scotland’s largest puppy farm.
Various breeds of dog were taken to the Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals’ (SSPCA) centre in Glasgow.
Undercover inspectors from the charity said they were tackling the illegal trade in puppy farming, although a number of other animals including ferrets and rabbits were also seized.
The SSPCA said in a statement, “We attended a property in the Aberdeenshire area yesterday (Nov. 14) and seized 105 animals. All of the animals are currently going through an intensive veterinary screening process to assess their overall health.
“Our current priority is tackling the cruel and illegal puppy trade, which puts profit before animal welfare, under the banner of Operation Delphin.
“Operation Delphin is a multi-agency approach to tackling this horrific trade by detecting offenders, disrupting illicit trade and reducing animal suffering.”
Veterinary surgeon Harry Haworth assisted with the operation and said that the dogs’ welfare had been compromised.
He told the BBC, “All these environmental problems that we are picking up are going to cause unnecessary risk of disease and poor health, which is going to cause pain and suffering and death to some of these dogs.
“There are all sorts of welfare rules being broken here. When you look at the puppies, they are not blooming, thriving puppies the way they should be, they look like puppy-farm puppies.”
The problem of the illegal dog trade has been highlighted recently by the Dogs Trust, which found that hundreds of puppies are being smuggled into the UK from Eastern European countries.
The demand is fuelled by the desire for trendy breeds such as the French Bulldog and Chow Chow. Dealers can earn up to £120,000 ($157,000) a year from selling the puppies of just 20 French Bulldogs.
“We continue to be astounded at the lengths these deceptive breeders and dealers will go to in order to illegally import puppies to make huge profits with complete disregard for their wellbeing,” Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director for the Trust said in a statement.
“The cases we are seeing on a weekly basis are horrific and need to stop.”
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