The European online trade in puppies is worth almost 1.5 billion euros per year. Almost 2.4 million dogs are traded each year across the major European classified sites that advertise dogs.
Unscrupulous dealers can earn a significant amount of money from selling puppies that have been bred in deplorable conditions. These puppies, often sick and unvaccinated, are then taken hundreds of miles across borders with forged or non-existent identification and vaccination documents, posing a risk to both human and animal health.
The demand for puppies is higher than ever, profit margins for illegal traders enormous, the risk of prosecution low, and punishments inadequate.