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A BBC investigation has revealed that dog breeders’ networks are offering to mutilate puppies by cutting off their ears to continue spreading on social media.
Mutilation involves thinning or ‘cutting’ the ears and removing part of their external structure for cosmetic reasons.
A breeder told an undercover reporter that he had changed the American “chicken” breed in an “amazing” way.
The breeders’ move is illegal in Britain, but they display fake passports for pets, indicating that the change has taken place abroad.
During the investigation, a breeder offered to sell a BBC secret puppy in Wales for ,000 13,000 and talked about cutting off the dog’s ears, a practice banned in Britain under the Animal Welfare Act.
Paula Boyden, of Dog Care, said the practice was “completely unjustified” and could cause health and behavioral problems for dogs.
“Some animals may be susceptible to infection, or do not like people to touch their ears,” she added.
“We have also seen behavioral problems because dogs communicate with their ears and without them they may find it difficult to do so with their owners or with other dogs.”
The BBC Wales investigation has tracked down several breeders who are posting pictures of dogs with severed ears online.
Moheez Adam, one of the breeders, said it was a “shame” that cutting the ear was illegal, as it gave the dogs a “delightful look”.
He offered an undercover reporter a puppy for 13 13,000 and said he would give him a passport as a pet and an electronic chip.
Another gentleman who took care of this matter, offered to introduce the letters … and said if you are mainly asked questions, say that this is how you bought it, from an Irishman. She came from Europe and that’s all I know.
He added, “Let’s say that as long as the surgery is done at the right age, there is nothing wrong with that.”
During a video call, Adam lifted the puppy by the ear and said, “This is what he gets.”
Commenting on BBC evidence, Daniela dos Santos, former president of the British Veterinary Association, said she was “shocked” by her findings.
She added: “Cutting off the ears is an illegal mutilation done only for cosmetic reasons and the whole conversation was about what these dogs look like.”
“It all has to do with appearance. There is absolutely no health benefit after that for dogs.”
Adam later said that while he “wanted to cut the dogs’ ears”, it was illegal, but that he “never arranged for this to happen”.
Another breeder, Joshua Harty, from Cardiff, told an undercover reporter that he could also arrange to cut off his ears and provide dog owners with a foreign animal passport and a microchip.
He added: “It usually costs around 500 500 to get this in my passport and chip … my vet gets it from Turkey.”
“I took dogs to shows in Ireland and Spain, obviously I had to cross the border and get these passports and cross them every time. I had no problem,” he said.
Daniela dos Santos said what Harty was suggesting was “facilitating the commission of a crime”.
“Everything is completely illegal, the amputation of the ears, the fake passport, everything in the process is an evasion,” she said.
She added, “It is wrong to look at these animals as goods and machines to make money, as they should be treated as conscious living beings.”
“The reason this happened is because there is a gap that allows the importation of dogs with severed ears and this is just a cover because of the laws in Britain,” she said.
BBC Wales contacted Bhart for comment, but he did not respond.
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Puppies mutilated by breeders after being picked up by an illegal breeder from Cardiff Council, Vanessa Waddon from Hope Dog Rescue.
Puppies are said to be worth 1500 1,500 more after their ears were cut off.
Waddon said she fears the demand is being driven by influential social media users who are posting pictures of dogs with severed ears, according to footballer Marcus Rashford, Little Mix singer Lee Ann Pinnock and Jack Fincham from Love Island.
“When celebrities post things online, people inevitably think about what a cute dog looks like and maybe you can get one,” she said.
“While celebrities can legally import dogs, there are people who cut off some ears illegally in Britain to meet demand.”
BBC Wales contacted representatives of Rashford, Pinnock and Fincham, but received no response.
The British government has said a proposed restricted animal bill would restrict the import of dogs and puppies with ears less than six months old.
A Welsh government spokesman said there was a five-year Animal Welfare Plan in Wales to tackle illegal dog breeding, including new regulations, and was closely monitoring developments.
But Boyden said if border officials do not control imported dogs, the law will not work.
“The import ban is welcome, but the law will remain in place as long as it is implemented and at the moment there are no details on what resources will be available to check for cut ears or if they look like juvenile puppies,” he said. she. .
“We work with excellent law enforcement officers, but they do not have the resources to investigate all the reported cases,” she added.
“You may have the best legislation in place, but it will not be effective if it is not fully implemented.”