Lifelong ban for Scottish man convicted of puppy trafficking

A Wishaw man has been convicted of puppy trafficking following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

Robert Brownlie, 38, appeared for sentencing at Hamilton Sheriff Court today.

Brownlie had previously pled guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide protection from disease, namely canine Parvo Virus, to two Cockapoo puppies, as well as failing to provide a Cockapoo puppy with veterinary treatment contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Brownlie also pled guilty to failing to meet the needs of a dog and seven puppies in his care.

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Furthermore Brownlie pled guilty to offering for sale animals as pets, namely Cockapoo pups, without the relevant license, contrary to the Pet Animals Act 1951.

Brownlie has received a lifelong ban of owning and keeping animals and a community pay back order of 240 hours unpaid work. In addition to this Brownlie has been fined a total of £2880 to be paid within 4 months.

An undercover Inspector said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the case especially with regards to lifetime disqualification order.

“This sentence sends out a strong message to anyone who is involved in the puppy trade that the courts are taking these activities seriously.

“It is rare that lifelong disqualifications are handed out. This prosecution was brought about as part of Operation Delphin an on-going Operation to combat the illegal puppy trade.

“The Special Investigations Unit of the SSPCA is working alongside partner organizations to tackle this multi million pound industry including ISPCA, USPCA, DSPCA, RSPCA, HMRC Trading Standards, Stenaline, Police Scotland Port unit and APHA.”

The Inspector went on to say, “The pups involved in this case, including Pomeranians and Cockapoos, would have undoubtedly have been bred in a puppy farm in Southern Ireland, as a result they will have been reared in very poor conditions will little of no socialisation and due to the stress of their upbringing and the transportation and changes in environment their immune system is very low.

“Once these pups reach their new owner via the dealers they often develop diseases such as Parvo Virus and giardia and with specific regard to this case this can result in extremely high vet bills.

“Often these pups will die from these diseases. This is extremely distressing for the new owners.”

“Trafficked pups often look fine when they are purchased, but problems will begin to show at a later stage. By which time money has exchanged hands and the selling agent is long gone.

“If you are buying a puppy over the festive period please only go to reputable breeders, a list of breeders can be provided by the Kennel Club.

“People should try to view the pups when they are still feeding off Mum to ensure that they are not farmed puppies for sale, where possible it is best to view both parents.

“If you have purchased a puppy that is shows any signs of illness or distress take it to the vet immediately.”

“We would like to thank the Procurator Fiscal for their help and assistance in this case.

“We are pleased that Brownlie has been dealt with by the court and that this case of puppy trafficking and neglect has been rightly recognised with a lifetime ban.”