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Hamburg wants to take stronger action against the puppy mafia

The Hamburg government factions SPD and Greens want to take action against illegal puppy trade and anonymous animal trade in the future.

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Hamburg wants to take stronger action against the puppy mafia

The Hamburg government factions SPD and Greens want to take action against illegal puppy trade and anonymous animal trade in the future. In an application to the citizenship meeting, they demand, among other things, stronger nationwide regulation of the trade and the continuation of the Hamburg public campaign against illegal puppy trade, as the SPD parliamentary group announced on Monday. So far, penalties have been imposed “extremely rarely” and the puppy mafia is constantly expanding its business.

"During the corona pandemic, the illegal puppy trade has worsened, especially via the Internet," said Sarah Timmann, spokeswoman for animal welfare for the SPD parliamentary group. An information campaign, which is to be continued in 2023, explains the basic conditions when buying animals. In addition, the two factions are calling for better monitoring of online trade and for closing legal gaps in animal welfare.

Veterinary offices and police stations are to be better equipped and a cross-national central database of existing keeping and sales bans is to be set up. The illegal puppy trade is a brutal business worth millions across Europe and Hamburg is “a central scene”, according to Lisa Maria Otte, spokeswoman for animal welfare for the Green Group. Hamburg must put a stop to the puppy mafia.

Since 2020, at least 135 serious suspected cases have been reported to the responsible Hamburg police department, which can be traced back to a single local dealer ring. Otte: "For me it is unbearable that the criminal machinations at the expense of sick and traumatized animals have not yet been stopped."

In the illegal animal trade, dogs and cats are mostly bred in Eastern Europe under conditions that are contrary to animal welfare and are offered for sale on online portals. The animals are often too young, not vaccinated or dewormed, papers such as the vaccination card are forged or not available. Many animals would also receive stimulants, it said. According to the EU, around 50,000 puppies are traded between European countries every month.

In the past few weeks, the Hamburger Tierschutzverein (HTV) has taken in five cats that had apparently been left to die and is now looking for information on the people responsible. For tips that lead to the arrest of those responsible, the HTV offers a reward of 1000 euros per animal, as the animal rights activists announced on Monday. The death of the animals was "accepted with approval", it said. HTV is investigating against unknown persons and reserves the right to press charges.

It's about a one-eyed cat that was found on September 26 in a black, nicotine-contaminated bag next to garbage containers on Fuhlsbütteler Straße in Hamburg-Alsterdorf, it said. In addition, an approximately three-month-old Maine Coon kitten with crippled hind legs was found on September 30th in Hainholzweg in Hamburg-Eissendorf. In addition, on October 16, two long-haired mixed-breed cat puppies were abandoned in a black bag on Elfsaal Street in Hamburg-Jenfeld. As early as September 11, a white Persian mixed-breed cat in very poor condition was discovered in a bag on the evening of September 11 in front of an apartment door on the fifth floor of a house on Walter-Freitag-Strasse in Hamburg-Bergedorf. This animal had to be euthanized.

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