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Gloucestershire Business News

Rising prices increases fears over dog smuggling

The Dogs Trust has raised concerns about smuggling and exploiting by some sellers after demand and prices for the most desirable dog breeds soared during lockdown.

A study by the trust showed search for "buy a puppy" on Google went up by 166 per cent after lockdown was introduced on March 23.

Dachshunds saw the biggest price rise with the average rise soaring from £973 to £1,838 while English and French bulldogs, pugs and chow chows have hit new highs on classified advertising websites.

The trust said it had rescued 43 puppies illegally imported between the introduction of restrictions and the end of June - 12 giving birth to 56 puppies worth around £100,000 to the smugglers.

Veterinary director Paula Boyden said: "It's shocking to see how much dogs are being advertised for sale online and, in particular, how prices for some of the most popular smuggled breeds have increased during the coronavirus lockdown.

"While there are many responsible sellers out there, sadly there are plenty who are just looking to tug on the heartstrings and exploit the situation for their own profit.

"It's also creating a perfect storm for people to be scammed out of their hard-earned money."

The charity fears up to 40,000 dogs could be abandoned in the coming months after being bought while people were at home during lockdown.

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