Based on the information France TV got, dogs sold in France illegally come from Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Reporters even did a mystery shopping to show how the business works.
According to index.hu, France TV says that the number of illegal dog dealers is growing in France who buy the animals for a lower price in Eastern-Europe and the centre of their network is in Hungary. The French public television added that
there are 50 thousand dogs sold in France illegally every year.
This is an even more significant business than selling drugs or arms because Eastern-European dogs can be bought for only a couple of hundreds of EUR, but they can be sold for six times more in Western-Europe.
In France, rules are strict how a dog can be imported into the country. They cannot be younger than three months and 21 days and the inoculation procedure has to be done by veterinarians. However, since some of them help dog smuggler gangs, they can bring in younger animals, too.
In Hungary, the members of an animal protection organisation lead the French reporters to a dog breeding farm near Tatabánya where animals live in a horrific environment. They counted more than 40 dogs there and according to the report, most
dogs illegally imported into France are in a terrible health condition, they are skinny and ill.
Afterwards, they started to search for dogs on jofogas.hu and quickly found a six-week-old beagle for only 25 thousand HUF (EUR 75). They visited the older woman selling the dog with a hidden camera. She showed the animals in a plastic corb and added that even though they are still too young for a long journey that does not disturb the seller. Since she did not know that there is a camera, she told that she sold two beagles in Slovakia 2 weeks before. She also showed an empty vial and told them to go to a veterinarian and give it to him, and he will provide the needed papers to take the dog out of the country. And that is precisely what happened.
Index.hu wrote before that in Hungary,
90 pc of the dogs are born or sold illegally
and since they cause many problems for their owners, they choose the most comfortable solution and throw them out. Others breed dogs illegally on former pig farms and smuggle them into France and Italy.
Last year index.hu wrote that the police caught foreign breeders and that the most “infected” areas of the country in this respect are near Pécs, Püspökladány and Karcag. In Pécs, for example, there is an “animal market” on the first Sunday of each month. There one can
buy dogs for 100 EUR and then sell them for 800-1,000 EUR abroad.
Thus, the business is very profitable.
Interestingly, mostly Italian gangs are part of the illegal dog trade network, and this kind of business is safer than drugs or arms since even if they are caught sentences are soft so they can later continue.