To raise awareness we allow TV companies to use our undercover filming/investigations. Our footage has been featured on many current affairs programmes including the BAFTA award winning BBC’s The Dog Factory, ITV’s Tonight, ITV Wales This Week and Y Byd ar Bedwar, Sky and Channel Five News, BBC Wales, Week In Week Out, BBC’s The One Show and many others. We would like to make it clear we make no profit from this. We never sell our footage.
As you may have been aware recently there was a debate in Parliament regarding the puppy trade. EFRA, the Commons Select Committee were once again pushing for government to halt sales of puppies through third parties.
This is something we wish to see although we fully recognise such a ban won’t end the many problems in the breeding industry. At the end of the debate, Defra minister George Eustice stated there will be no ban on third party sales. His reasoning being that it would be too problematic to enforce and to an extent we have to agree.
Another factor, is that we understand any ban, if introduced would only cover England so anyone wishing to sell pups this way could, and no doubt would, continue doing so in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. We know people are willing to travel miles for pups, we hear it all the time.
In a previous debate, Angela Smith MP said, “I think everyone on committee agreed and most of those giving evidence concurred that they would like to see an end to the 3rd party sale of puppies. However, much expert evidence said just banning it would not work. Unfortunately, the report has very little to say about how enforcement of a ban would work, how this would be paid for, and who would enforce it, which is disappointing”
She further stated, “I am also disappointed the Committee didn’t accept much of the expert evidence that a strong and effective licensing system for sales is more likely to have the desired effect of stopping 3rd party sales.”
And we agree Angela, EFRA gave no consideration to the organisations who work on the front line and pick up the pieces of the puppy trade. Instead they supported a ban with no plan.
It’s worth remembering EFRA Committee members are simply politicians with no expertise in the subject.
However, DEFRA did, it appears listen to those with expertise, and are moving on with new legislation. George Eustice has stated “A tougher approach to licensing provisions and to enforcement of the provisions in the Pet Animals Act 1951. First, we are placing beyond any doubt that online commercial sellers need to have a licence. It is not a pet shop licence; it is now a licence for animal sellers, and we will make that absolutely clear in revisions to the licensing conditions. Secondly, as with dog breeders, we propose that statutory conditions should be applied to all licensed pet sellers, whether online or a shop. These will again be based on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health model conditions for pet vending licensing of 2013. Thirdly, we have also made it clear that, as a condition of having such a licence, if breeders advertise online they will in future need to state their licence number. That will be particularly important in helping with enforcement. I believe that these steps to strengthen the licensing regime currently set out under the 1951 Act go a long way towards addressing the concerns raised.”
So there you have it, we are hoping new legislation will improve traceability of pups sold and may deter some of the worst offenders for that very reason.
We can only hope the situation will improve and we are grateful to Dogs Trust, RSPCA Blue Cross for their continued input and hard work with DEFRA to make things better for breeding dogs.
We have been present at protests outside the largest pet store in the UK #dogs4us raising our voices against the sale of pups in pet shops, something we have done for many years.
After a puppy buyer contacted us about a sick pup she’d bought from a man in Wishaw, Scotland, our Scottish coordinator advised the buyer on who to contact and the steps required for her to gain justice. We contacted SSPCA with information to support her complaint. In addition, we alerted the public to the dealer, a Mr Brownlie. Unsurprisingly this didn’t go down too well with him, and his response was to offer us ample abuse. It got him nowhere, he was silenced when his case came to court and he was banned for life from owning animals. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/newmains-man-convicted-puppy-trafficking-9304350
We reported one of our investigations to RSPCA so that they could take the case further. We supplied them with evidence we’d obtained ourselves of breeding dogs being kept in horrendous conditions. This was a tough case for us personally as we witnessed first-hand the inhumane conditions the dogs were forced to live in. Thankfully RSPCA were immediately able to seize some of the dogs for veterinary treatment and the remainder were seized at a later date. This particular offender/animal abuser was successfully prosecuted twice and we thank RSPCA for acting on our evidence and concerns! You can read more here
Puppy Smuggling Scotland
As you couldn’t have failed to have noticed, illegal puppy smuggling is big business and totally out of control. It really is an horrific industry which causes so much misery not only for puppies and families who buy the pups, but the breeding dogs kept crammed in pens being forced to breed for their whole lives Because of this awful situation we will be at Holyrood on 21st December supporting a motion raised by Emma Harper MSP of the Scottish National Party to help end the illegal puppy trade in Scotland. Emma Harper contacted us to learn more about the trade in Scotland and we were, and remain more than happy to help her with her efforts.
Puppy Farm Objection
We’ve objected to a new puppy farm being licensed in Scotland and using our social media channels and contacts have encouraged others to lodge their objections. The council responsible has contacted us directly and we’ve made them fully aware of the concerns we have and our reasons. All these are based on our years of work in this field and we hope the council will see sense and realise how much opposition there is against this type of business. Legal it may be, moral and worthy it is not.
We’ve recently reported another of our investigations to RSPCA for further action. This should secure help for the dogs and pups we found living a life no dog should live. The details are distressing. We’ll keep you informed of how the case progresses and we hope we’ve made a difference to the lives of another roughly, 50, breeding dogs.
Largely using social media to spread news and information, we’re actively helping the Irish-based groups Pups Not Profit and Ferry Dogmothers publicise the huge problems with puppy farmers that they have. Irish pups are sold in large numbers in the UK and we’ve backed up their campaigns and objections to puppy farms. We’ve also been able to pass on information to operation Delphin and Ports watch.
As well as our investigations and guiding the public, this year has seen our group rescue many ex breeding dogs. Most are now living happy lives well away from the pain and misery they endured for years. Sadly some don’t live long enough to enjoy much of life but, we always ensure they get the care and vet treatment they need to make their last days comfortable and pain free.
Time moves on but not a lot changes in the dark world of puppy farming and puppy trafficking.
The Dog Factory
Earlier this year we worked with BBC Scotland who made The Dog Factory, an hour long documentary about puppy farming. If you haven’t yet seen it you can view it here on our website Seen by huge national audience it caused quite a stir both on social media and in the press, as a result DSPCA in Ireland has called for change
It features a prolific puppy dealer in Scotland who sells pups from his home under the false pretence pups are Scottish bred. In fact pups are imported from Southern Ireland. The programme showed one puppy farm in Ireland with 500 breeding dogs on site. Most of the pups are sold onto the UK via on line ads or pet shops. Please watch the film, it will show you what is happening right NOW in this dirty world of deceit.
As well as giving programme makers information we also allowed BBC Scotland to use some of our footage from Welsh puppy farms so that the public could see Wales is also a huge concern, with hundreds of puppy battery farms all across its beautiful landscape. A secret Wales don’t want you to to see but one that Puppy Love Campaigns will continue to expose.
In the latter part of last year we also rescued a pack of 6 dogs who were living in terrible conditions in Wales. The dogs were semi feral, some were very thin and most were untouched by human hand. RSPCA did go and check on the dogs after we reported the case but apart from a clean up notice being issued no other action was taken. It was thought pups had died on site, the pack was a mix of male and female, young and old. We thought at least RSPCA would have suggested they were neutered but they didn’t
We could not leave them there for another harsh Winter in a freezing barn with no bedding or comfort, if pups had been born they wouldn’t sand a chance of survival. A vet who commented on our footage said he wouldn’t be happy for the dogs to be left in such awful conditions. Puppy Love felt the same way and were left with no option but to try and help them ourselves. Thanks to some of our wonderful Welsh supporters, a plan to get them to safety was agreed with the dogs owner. Please keep in mind we are small voluntary group with no funding so we had to rely on volunteers using their own money and transport to get the dogs to safety in some horrific Winter weather. How much easier it would have been for a large, rich national charity to help the dogs. Like you we care deeply for all dogs and can’t leave them to suffer when the power to help them is in our hands. The dogs are now all happy and well loved as all dogs should be.
We continue to name and shame dealers and pet shops who sell farmed pups so that the public can make an informed choice when looking to buy a puppy. Dealers and pet shops continue to try and intimidate us, to stop us speaking the truth. We won’t stop making people aware and if we can slow the trade down by warning just a few people of the pitfalls they face when buying a puppy then its worthwhile.
THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS
We thank you all for your continued support and for information given. We need your help more than ever as the trade gets worse by the day, we can only do what we do with your fantastic help. A special thanks goes to Sarah Kells who had an awareness and fund raising day in Wrexham for Puppy Love raising Four hundred pounds.Thank you Sarah and the kind people of Wrexham!
2014 was another busy year for Puppy Love Campaigns as we continue to expose the hidden cruelty and neglect of farmed dogs and puppies. Puppy farming was in the news this year with the debate in parliament regarding halting the sale of pups in pet shops. Puppy Love doubt our government have the courage to follow through with a ban, so no change for the foreseeable future.
The Welsh government voted to bring in new legislation to protect breeding dogs in Wales but have no plans or cash in place to enforce the new rules. They have failed miserably for many years by not enforcing current legislation but they hope to restore their reputation by bringing in new legislation? We are pleased the new regs went through, but we need to be shown its not just paper exercise, time will tell. The new regulations have serious loopholes that need closing for change to happen. We will continue to point this out to the Welsh government and hope they will see sense. Talk is cheap and politicians are well versed in PR exercises to quell the call for change.
During the Summer protests took place at UK’s largest pet store selling farmed pups, DOGS4US Manchester. Our grateful thanks to all who joined us and to Jane for organising protests.
Almost daily we try to deal with complaints from people who have bought sick puppies, its very upsetting to hear their stories, we do our best to advise/comfort and can only hope that buyers will inform all the relevant authorities about the problems they have encountered. Despite all the warnings and information about farmed puppies, the public are still keeping demand high, the trade gets worse by the day. Its far more lucrative to deal in pups than drugs these days, if caught trading pups without a license there are no jail sentences to worry about, and the paltry fines are meaningless to dealers who make thousands of pounds a month from misery. Its a dirty trade.
We tried to get help from RSPCA for dogs in Ceredigion, some improvements have been made to their environment, but some dogs remain on chains or locked inside most of the day. The Animal Welfare Act is not all its cracked up to be, if you are a farmer or dog breeder it seems you are pretty safe from the powers that be, and the penalties breaching the act brings.
July saw us working with ITV Tonight programme to expose this same Ceredigion dog breeder. ITV showed the shocking footage we had obtained. In the same programme we supplied ITV with enough evidence to expose a puppy dealer from Wootton Bassett. Despite evidence being supplied to the dealers local authority no action has been taken against him.
In September we worked with ITV Wales for Wales This Week. In this programme we show how some working Welsh sheepdogs are abused by their owners. Some Collies that fail as working dogs, are locked away and forgotten about. Others, when they are not working, are chained for long periods, often without water or food, some even without shelter. Again we reported our findings to RSPCA. Both programmes we assisted with reached wide audiences, we hope many more people are now more aware of the puppy trade, and the cruelty involved within.
We have had many reports from the general public about situations that concern them, dogs in unsuitable housing, or being bred on every season. Please remember we are a very small group of volunteers and we can’t check out every report, much as we would like to. Time and funds dictate what we do. We have to do the best we can with what we have. We do what we do for the love of dogs, we have no vested interest or hidden agendas, and for the most part, we are anonymous. We do not court the limelight, what we do speaks for the voiceless breeding dogs.
We thank you all so much for your help and support during the year, we could not do what we do without you. Special thanks to all those who donated towards our fuel cost, we really appreciate your help. We wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. We will continue to to be the voice of puppy farm breeding dogs wherever they maybe.
It has been a very busy time at Puppy Love in the past few months and we apologise for not updating the news page sooner.
We had been alerted to Bentley Hall Farm a couple of years ago because sick and aggressive puppies had been sold from the establishment.We visited the breeder late August 2012. Every dog had severe diarrhoea, they were locked in barns with no exercise areas. There were some very aggressive dogs on site too. When we contacted the local authority to make a report, we were told they didn’t want our evidence or a statement as they were not obliged to enforce the animal welfare act. Bury council had let this breeder sell pups without any kind of license for 18 months in the full knowledge of what was happening at the premises. Two buyers had to have their pups euthanized because of serious aggression issues, many more had health problems.
Thankfully we were contacted by the Manchester Evening News who wanted to do a story on puppy farming. The journalist knew nothing about Bentley Hall so we enlightened him and put him in touch with a buyer of puppy. Bentley Hall was duly exposed and council and RSPCA took action shortly afterwards. We wait to see what action will be taken and will update you when we know.
We think Bury council were totally irresponsible letting this breeder continue his trade unhindered for so long. Sadly many councils are the same and do not carry out their duties in a satisfactory manner.
Another story 90-puppies-seized-in-offerton-raids
We have been aware of this group of dealers for some time after being alerted to sick/dying puppies being sold in the area. We directed buyers to RSPCA and trading standards and tried to warn the buying public as much as we could.
Pups were being sold with Kennel Registration and buyers were directed to private houses to view puppies. One of the men arrested was already under a ban from keeping animals.
Time moves on and sick pups are still being sold all over Manchester at different addresses including the Marple Road address, despite the publicity and arrests. These dealers really think the puppy buying public are so gullible, prove them wrong!
Then we hear Ms Cooper wants a pet shop license so that she can sell sick pups legally! See here Lily Cooper
Thankfully after many objections from locals, members of the public and buyers of sick pups, Stockport council refused permission. Well done Stockport council and Manchester Evening News!
This will not be the end of these unscrupulous dealers, they have other addresses they can use, or if needed they can sell from the backs of cars at petrol stations or motorway services. Please be aware and spread the word. Don’t give these animal abusers your hard earned cash. You could get a rescue dog, fully health checked, vaccinated and neutered for less than half the price these guys charge for pups of unknown origin, carrying all kinds of disease/infection that can be transferred to you and your family.
We have also been fighting against a new puppy farm being opened in Ceredigion which is licensed for 78 breeding dogs. Sadly, Ceredigion council planning committee saw fit to vote 16 to 1 in favour of yet another breeding premises for Wales. Once again dogs are housed in an agricultural building normally used for cattle or machinery. These buildings are made of tin so must be cold in Winter and hot in Summer.
We had hoped with new legislation expected soon, this kind of housing for dogs would be outlawed. This is not the case, and does not bode well for future dogs which will continue to be bred in unsuitable accommodation. A close neighbour objected to the puppy farm but her objections were ignored.
We thank you for your continued support.Please join us on Facebook for regular updates. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Puppy-Love-Campaigns/202945053081069
As Crufts Dog Show gets underway at the National Exhibition Centre (8-11 March 2012), puppy farm campaigners are calling on the Kennel Club to stop registering puppies that have been produced in appalling conditions in puppy farms. “Puppy farms are breeding establishments, many of them in Wales, where dogs are kept and raised like livestock, often in inhumane and unethical conditions, “explains Veronica of Puppy Love Campaigns. Of the 70 licensed breeders in Ceredigion, which alongside Carmarthenshire is known as the puppy-farming capital of the UK, 62 register at least some of their puppies with the Kennel Club. Some are licensed for 100 breeding bitches and more.
“Some keep dozens of breeding bitches in row upon concrete row of barely-converted pig-pens,” says Linda Goodman “They often have no access to natural light or outside exercise areas. Some have only one or two people looking after hundreds of animals and even when the premises are licensed by the local authority, checks are often totally inadequate. The bitches are bred from until they are worn out and then killed, never having known any home life or what it is like to be loved.”
The puppies are often sold through the small ads, pet shops or internet sites to an unsuspecting public persuaded by Kennel Club papers that the animal has been produced ethically. “The Kennel Club promised to tackle this issue as long ago as 1986 but it has singularly failed to act,” says Veronica of Puppy Love Campaigns “yet here we are a quarter of a century later and the KC has done nothing to ease the situation for puppy farm dogs, but is now happy to appear to be campaigning against it.”
At the moment, anyone can register a dog with the Kennel Club as long as both its parents are themselves Kennel Club registered. Such pets are in high demand, fetching more money than non KC-registered dogs. A survey conducted by Puppy Love Campaigns and of internet site Epupz reveals that, on average, Kennel Club registered dogs cost £200 more than non-registered dogs – a good return for the £15 it costs unscrupulous breeders to register puppies with the Kennel Club.
The Kennel Club recently released a film warning of the horrors of puppy farms – a move that the puppy farm campaigners insist is “hypocrisy of the highest order”. Linda Goodman says: “Registrations are a huge revenue stream for The Kennel Club and they have continued to profit from the misery of puppy farming. The KC will claim that only 2% of the breeders that register dogs with them are what are known as “volume” breeders – those that breed five or more litters a year. But that figure is very deceiving because the dogs they produce represent much more than two per cent of the dogs the Kennel Club register. “Their own research that: “As many as one in four people could potentially be buying their puppies from puppy farms” beggars belief when they’ve been so instrumental in making this possible. Their campaign against puppy farming just makes them look like utter hypocrites.”
Veronica at Puppy Love Campaigns: “For years the KC have registered puppy farm stock. They are the only organisation that makes a profit from the misery of farmed dogs and campaign against it at the same time.” The Kennel Club directs the public to buy from members of its Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS). Joining the ABS is as simple as applying for pedigree registration and, currently, requires no advance inspection or checks. In fact only up to 15% of ABS members have been inspected – and even then they are given advance warning of checks, despite the Kennel Club claiming that the checks are “random”.
Linda Goodman: “The KC’s Assured Breeders Scheme is little more than another registry. Again the public is being duped into believing that it actually means something. The ABS scheme will only be of value if the KC invests in mandatory inspection of all breeders within the scheme. At present only a tiny proportion of ABS breeders have ever been inspected by the KC and we have evidence of some ABS breeders conducting business in ways that the KC says it does not endorse.” Puppy Love Campaigns has footage of one ABS breeder illegally selling puppies at a motorway service station. Puppy Love Campaigns and C.A.R.I.A.D. want the KC to act now to make sure that no one who engages in puppy farming can benefit from Kennel Club registration
“We call on the Kennel Club to stop registering puppy farmed dogs immediately and to put measures in place to ensure that Kennel Club registration guarantees that a puppy has been raised in good, humane and ethical conditions. Otherwise there is no point in KC registration.”
The 30th October saw us protesting again outside DOGS4US pet store in Bramley Leeds. If you are unaware of the backgound of this pet store go to investigation page and you will see that we, along with Channel Five and Sky exposed the puppy factories DOGS4US buy their pups from.
When we arrived at the store for peaceful protest we found a huge sign, (pictured above) calling us idiots. When the police came to see us, as they do, we complained about the sign, which we found very offensive. We are not idiots, we know the truth, that pups bought by DOGS4US come from some disgusting breeding premises in Wales.
We also know and have proof of sick pups that have been sold from DOGS4US. Some pups died, others have lifelong health problems. We are well educated about puppy farms, so much so that TV companies call us when they want to work on a programme or news item. Would that happen if we were idiots telling lies? we don’t think so!
When police called to the protest they forced DOGS4US to remove the word idiots from the sign. Thank you to Bramley police.
DOGS4us brag that they only purchase pups from licensed premises. This is a photo of licensed premises! Dogs in LICENSED premises are kept penned for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They are kept pregnant on every season, they are weak exhausted and afraid. Often times they are in darkness, no bedding to keep them comfortable and some female dogs have to give birth on dirty, bare concrete floors. We have seen it with our own eyes and the camera does not lie. Dogs spin in circles or pace back and forth as any caged animal will.
You are being mislead into thinking that LICENSED premises means dog are kept in humane conditions when nothing could be further from the truth. Councils inspect their licensed dog breeders once per year, at which point the breeders will clean up the mess and hide any sick dogs from sight. Every pet shop in the land buys its pups in from puppy farms. No decent breeder who cared for their dogs would sell a pup through a third party, they have too much care for their pups to do that. Almost every ad you see online or in newspaper will be selling farmed pups. Wake up, you are being duped! Dogs4us also say they give you a six month gauruntee as though thy are doing you a favour, wrong! you are covered by Sale of goods act which means if your pup is faulty in any way you are covered by law. Please be aware of your rights, you may need them.
It has been a while since we have updated our news because we have been so very busy, this being a sad reflection on the fact that the puppy farm trade is worse than ever. You may be aware we had problems with a breeder in Ceredigion. We found 92 dogs including nursing females and young pups on his unmanned premises living in filth, some with obvious health problems and some without food and water. We hoped the council would prosecute this breeder for cruelty and neglect but they didn’t. All the council did was order him to reduce the number of dogs he kept and clean the place up. Then they actually gave him a LICENSE to carry on!
Dehydration can cause illness and death yet it seems breeders cannot find the time to keep water dishes filled with clean fresh water. Basic license conditions in the UK call for fresh water to be available for dogs at all times, also food and clean dry bedding should be supplied.
Why then, when we report breeders who are failing in their duty, do local authorities in Wales take NO ACTION? Some tell us they do not have the resources so why do they continue to issue licenses when they know that they, as licensing council cannot fulfill their duty of care to dogs in breeding establishments in their area? Why do they let puppy farmers operate without planning permission and why do they let them increase the number of dogs without permission? We wish we could answer these questions but we can’t.
RSPCA have not been much help this year, they seem to have an agreement with local authorities in Wales that councils themselves deal with any problems that arise on commercial dog breeding premises despite the fact that they know cases are hardly ever dealt with correctly. We asked the Welsh Assembly animal welfare team why the WA don’t intervene. Their response: “You will be aware that the Welsh Government does not have an enforcement role”.
So who is responsible? Why was animal welfare ever devolved to Wales when it seems they have no wish to improve things for the thousands of breeding dogs in their country? They did make an effort to bring in new legislation in 2010 but that failed and is now seemingly to be watered down if it ever becomes law. The WA have not, as far as we are aware, thought out who would enforce these new rules and therefore any legistlation will be as useless as legislation which is in place now as Councils will carry on just ignoring it. Wales is the capitol of the puppy farming industry and as such they should be the first to get things under control then hopefully the rest of the UK will follow suit.
Why is it that the Kennel Club also make money from misery by registering pups from puppy farmers? Why do they not refuse to partake in the vile money making scandal that dog breeding has become? Remember they hold the secretariat for puppy farming, why then, don’t they clean up their own mess
Our country is supposed to have a good reputation for animal welfare but this is not the case. The powers that be tell us the Sale of Dogs Act and the Animal Welfare Act are sufficient to stop the cruelty BUT the fact is the rules are not ENFORCED. The big dog welfare organizations in this country do very little with regards to puppy farming, they have meetings and talk about the problem over tea and cake but they have been talking about this issue for the last twenty years and nothing has changed. It’s unbelievable and shameful.
The situation is now out of hand, cannot be policed and is a disgrace to our nation. DEFRA continues to bury their heads in the sand. Lord Henley refuses to acknowledge there is a problem, just as Rooker did before him. We are dismayed and shocked to see dogs being treated worse than animals bred for the food chain, they are not livestock, they are companion animals and should be treated as such. Dogs lead the blind, aid the deaf, enable the disabled, sniff out cancers, they warn people of fits and diabetic comas and they help save lives in war. Is Britain a nation of dog lovers? We don’t think so.
Update Ceredigion. We have made a further visit to this breeder and yet again we found breaches in license conditions and the AWA. RSPCA were informed. We are waiting to hear what steps the council have taken and will let you know when they inform us. This may take some time as it can take up to two weeks to even get an acknowledgement from Ceredigion council! We hope their welfare officers act a bit quicker. 3rd June…still waiting a response from Ceredigion council, their efficiency knows no bounds!
Update 23rd March. Statement from Ceredgion Council, There was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the dogs were being treated in such a manner that their wellbeing and welfare was being unreasonably prejudiced. We don’t know why they didn’t see what we could see, lack of food and water, dogs with skin complaints and eye problems. Perhaps they didn’t want to see as it is too much work for the council bods who have to fill in forms etc. The Welsh Assembly have no authority over councils and how they do the jobs they are paid for, that means they can do as they please with no outside interference and they have no need to answer to anyone. A peculiar way to run a country don’t you think? . The taxpayer pay these people to be efficient and uphold the rules. If they do not have the resources to do the job we pay them for then we call for ALL puppy farms to be closed immediately.
Puppy Love would like to thank Gail Parsons and Cocker Spaniel Rescue for the information given to us to help trace this breeder.
Puppy Love would like to thank everyone who has filled in the proposals form for the WA. We would also like to say shame on the KC and some hobby breeders who would like have the process delayed for their own selfish reasons. We hope the WA stay strong and pass the new legislation as it stands.
On 22nd October 2010, the Welsh Assembly Government opened a 3 month public consultation inviting feedback from interested organisations and individuals on the draft regulations proposed for the breeding of dogs in Wales.
These would replace existing regulations with a stricter licensing regime and specify much enhanced minimum standards for accommodation and environment, diet and nutrition, exercise, supervision and socialisation, health and welfare and record keeping.
The draft regulations were prepared by a Task and Finish Group including the Kennel Club, Dogs Trust and British Veterinary Association among others, in response to long standing concerns about the extent of puppy farming in the principality.
Puppy farms are large scale establishments in which numerous dogs of many different breeds are kept in often appalling conditions with no regard for the welfare or health of the breeding stock or their offspring, which are sold for onward sale to pet shops and dealers. It has been estimated that over 50,000 puppy farmed dogs are sold in the UK every year.
A number of smaller Welsh hobby ? breeders have expressed concern that the draft regulations would impose an unfair burden of compliance and cost on them, as their activities are of a completely different nature. They claim that their views were not taken into account in the drafting of the proposed regulations and are attempting to exert pressure on the Welsh Assembly to extend the consultation period which expires on 13th January 2011.
Most people might believe that a well publicised 3 month consultation, open to all, provides ample opportunity for everyone with an interest in the subject to express their views. But apparently not Welsh dog breeders who want to delay the process to protect their personal interests. If their true aim is to improve the quality of their chosen breed, rather than monetary gain, they must surely understand that change is necessary for the greater benefit of all dogs.
More puzzling and worrying is the fact that the Kennel Club is lending its weight to actively support the demand for additional discussion with this group, even before the results of the full public consultation are known. Puzzling because the Kennel Club was part of the group producing the draft regulations and worrying because in spite of its claim to be “The UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs”, it appears to be putting the interests of some breeders ahead of those of countless thousands of dogs.
Puppy Love Campaigns and others opposed to puppy farming have been striving for 20 years to reach the point where legislation may finally have an impact on this cruel practice. We fully understand that enforcement will not be easy, especially in the light of public expenditure cuts.However, there’s no reason why voluntary groups like ours cannot play a part in supporting the authorities once the appropriate tools are in place, if there is the will and desire to succeed from all parties. It certainly isn’t cause to delay implementation as has been claimed in some quarters.
Perhaps it’s time more questions were asked about the motivation of an organisation which received £8,129,000 in income from registration fees from breeders in 2009(including registrations from known puppy farmers)and adamantly denied that the health of some 15 breeds had been severely impaired as a result of it tacitly condoning poor breeding practices, until Professor Bateson’s report proved otherwise.
On the 31st July 2010 Puppy Love were invited to attend the Lush shop in Leeds where staff held an event to raise more awareness and funds to help the sad plight of puppy farm dogs.
A great day was had by all, many leaflets and information sheets were distributed and quite a few customers who had not been aware of puppy farms or thought they were illegal, left the shop fully aware of this despicable trade.
A big thank you to Laura and staff at Lush Leeds shop for all the hard work publicizing this event and for helping us raise more awareness. Special thanks also for the wonderful Puppy Love window display.
Sincere thanks also to members of Puppy love who attended this event.
Puppy Love welcome the Welsh Assembly’s decision to review the way dogs are bred in Wales. We hope this will become law without too much delay.
New Welfare Standards for Dog Breeding in Wales.
Wales’ Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, has announced her intention to introduce new legislation which will significantly enhance animal welfare in Wales. Wednesday 07 July 2010
The new legislation, which will replace the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 with Wales-specific regulations that are fit for purpose will be based on proposals made by an expert Task and Finish group which was commissioned by the Rural Affairs Minister to review the legislation on the breeding of dogs to reflect the five welfare needs identified in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. She asked the group to report to her by the end of June 2010. The five welfare needs included in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 are that animals should:
The report, which the Minister has accepted, makes three broad recommendations. First, that there should be legislative change for dog breeding by repealing existing statutory requirements and to provide new legislation; second, that changes to the licensing provision for dog breeding establishments should be made; and Third, that statutory guidance on the new legislation should be made.
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said: “Pets are an important element of our society and ownership gives much pleasure, as well as associated responsibilities.” The devolution of animal welfare powers to Welsh Ministers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 has provided opportunities for us to make a real difference. It’s about improving standards and preventing suffering – prevention is better than cure, which is a principle of our overarching Animal Health and Welfare Strategy. “We have already made legislation on electronic shock collars and tail docking of dogs and Codes of Practice for dogs, cats, equine’s and rabbits. The CAWES (Companion Animal Welfare Enhancement Scheme) programme has supported and is continuing to support evidence based decisions. Part of that process is to work with the third sector to raise standards.” The Minister announced that licensing conditions for dog breeding establishments will be redrafted to reflect the five welfare needs. To help achieve this, the report recommended that a maximum number of dogs should be kept per full time attendant.
The Minister added: “If the breeding establishment is to meet the welfare and socialisation needs of dogs and puppies it was considered that, at the outside, a maximum ratio of one full time attendant to 20 dogs should be imposed. “I am keen to emphasise, however, that where welfare requirements are fully met, it is a legitimate business and meets the demands of those wishing to buy pets. “What is unacceptable is large scale breeding of puppies where welfare of both the parents and offspring may be compromised. Evidence submitted to the Welsh Assembly Government in research undertaken by local authorities, representations from many welfare bodies and several television programmes, all identified room for improvement for animal welfare in existing dog breeding licensing conditions.
“The group also considered the qualifying criteria for licensing. They agreed that existing criteria needed tightening particularly reducing the number of breeding bitches to trigger licensing to three from the current “five or more litters.”
Other changes will include the compulsory microchipping of all breeding dogs in licensed premises as well as the microchipping of all pups from these premises prior to sale or homing. This would provide clear traceability back to the breeder in case of health or welfare concerns. It is proposed that statutory guidance will incorporate the five “needs” of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This will give a clear direction to Welsh local authorities and to dog breeders to enable compliance with the licensing requirements. Consideration will need to be given at a later stage as to whether the Code of Practice on the Welfare of Dogs will need to be expanded to include more detail on dog breeding.
The Minister concluded: “My role is to ensure that animal welfare is being promoted and animals protected without placing unnecessary burdens on the breeders or purchasers of dogs.”The new legislation will be fully consulted on during a 12 week period.
On the 29th March we staged our third protest outside Dogs4us in Leeds.
Once again we managed to make people aware that sick pups were being sold from this store and that most pups come from Welsh puppy farms.
We are pleased to say we turned 3 potential buyers away.
A Leeds councilor came to chat to us and has promised he will look into the sorry state of affairs taking place in his constituancy.
Please join us in our next protest, details on the forum.
You can make a difference….every voice counts.