Illegal import research

30 January 2017

The Scottish Government is currently funding a research project on the sourcing of pet dogs from puppy farms and illegal importation. The research team – Dr Tanya Wyatt and Mr Paul Biddle of Northumbria University, and Dr Jenny Maher of the University of South Wales – are already analysing the online market, trade data and interviewing experts about their views and experiences. In the next phase, beginning February 2017, they will be collecting data from surveys and focus groups.

The survey will take in the views of veterinary professionals and other experts about their experiences of people purchasing puppies and what measures might help decrease the sales of illegal puppies. The survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete and will be anonymised (although the system will track the region of the participants).

Focus groups will be conducted with dog owners who have recently purchased a puppy and the team are hoping that in addition to completing the survey, BSAVA members will share information about the research with their clients to help recruit dog owners for the focus groups.

Please contact Dr Wyatt ( if you would like to take the survey or for further information on the project.