European illegal puppy trade and organised crime

Maher, Jennifer and Wyatt, Tanya (2021) European illegal puppy trade and organised crime. Trends in Organized Crime, 24 (4). pp. 506-525. ISSN 1084-4791

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Organised crime groups’ involvement in illicit markets is a common focus of law enforcement and governments. Drug, weapon, human and wildlife trafficking (and others) are all illegal activities with link to organised crime. This paper explores the overlooked illicit market of puppies. We detail the state of knowledge about the organisation of the UK puppy trade, which includes irresponsible and illegal breeding of puppies throughout Europe and their often-illegal movement into the UK. In 2017, we conducted an analysis of hundreds of online advertisements in Scotland, 12 expert interviews, a stakeholder survey of 53 participants, and 40 focus groups across Great Britain. Our data suggest an organised illicit market running in parallel to the legal trade. We speculate as to whether at some point along the supply chain organised crime groups are responsible for the suffering and death of the puppies and the economic and emotional damage to ‘consumers’. Online monitoring and physical scrutiny at the ports must be improved to reduce non-human animal abuse. People buying puppies must also be made aware that their purchase could be profiting organised crime.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This paper stems from research funded by the Scottish government and DEFRA in 2017.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animal abuse, Illegal puppy trade, Organised crime, Puppy trafficking, Transnational crime
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
M100 Law by area
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2021 09:46
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 15:45

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