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Woman sold dogs imported from puppy farms on Gumtree

Jaimie Colquhoun from Dundee 'tapped into the illegal puppy trafficking world'.

Court: Investigation after one of Colquhoun's puppies had a virus.
Court: Investigation after one of Colquhoun's puppies had a virus.

A woman imported dogs bought from puppy farms in Ireland before selling them on Gumtree.

Jaimie Colquhoun from Dundee sold the animals to unsuspecting customers between January 2014 and July 2015.

At Forfar Sheriff Court, the 25-year-old was found guilty of selling puppies without a licence to do so under the Pet Animals Act 1951.

On Thursday, sheriff Gregor Murray ordered her to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Scottish SPCA investigators said Colquhoun had "tapped into the illegal puppy trafficking world" that farms animals "in extremely intensive regimes much the same as battery chickens".

The court heard an investigation was launched into Colquhoun's activities after complaints were made about one of the puppies she sold having a virus.

She later told investigators a contact in Ireland would text her once a month to tell her what breeds he had available.

'This forms part of a trade which, if not regulated, can cause cruelty to animals.'
Sheriff Gregor Murray

Colquhoun would sell the animals on Gumtree after picking them up from Ireland.

She said she did not have papers for any of the animals nor did she have them checked by vets prior to sale, aside from one that had an eye problem.

Colquhoun was first interviewed by the Scottish SPCA under caution in August 2015 and told she was suspected of a crime.

Despite that she went on to sell more dogs through Gumtree, meeting a buyer in a Morrisons supermarket car park in Dundee, in October that year.

Colquhoun had denied three charges of selling animals without a licence to do so.

She was found guilty of carrying on a business of selling animals in Arbroath and in the car park of a Morrisons in Dundee, as well as "keeping a pet shop without a licence" at her home on Dunholm Road in the city between January 1, 2014 and July 13, 2015.

Her defence solicitor Ian Houston said: "This was not something done callously by the accused and she had concern for the pups she did sell.

"When one of them became ill she paid the vet bills and refunded the buyer's money and suffered quite a financial hit as a result of the transaction."

'Many of these places in Ireland are putting profit ahead of animals and breeding them in extremely intensive regimes much the same as battery chickens.'
Scottish SPCA investigator

Mr Murray said the maximum jail term he could impose, three months, would not be enough punishment.

He said he could not impose an order banning her from keeping animals because legislation that would allow him to do so is not yet in force.

The sheriff said: "You became involved in selling dogs in an unregulated fashion purely to make money.

"This forms part of a trade which, if not regulated, can cause cruelty to animals.

"Conduct such as yours encourages others to breed and supply such animals."

A senior Scottish SPCA undercover investigator, who asked not to be named, said following the verdict: "It's well documented and well evidenced that many of these places in Ireland are putting profit ahead of animals and breeding them in extremely intensive regimes much the same as battery chickens, except for puppies.

"Hence when they come to Scotland they have the conditions associated with poor husbandry, intensive breeding and compromised welfare."

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