Pic courtesy of Be Puppy Farm Aware

We are just finishing  Freedom of Information enquiries regarding the issue of dog breeding licences by various councils around the country.  It has long been thought that the majority of the puppy farmers are in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, Wales and thousands of sick, fearful and aggressive puppies are sold from there all over the UK.  Our study aims to prove for the first time that the problem in those areas is real.

Many people have watched various TV exposés over the years with secret filming of filthy kennels, circling, terrified bitches, abusive breeders and yet the trade grows.  This filming has always been done secretly at various farms in Wales.  

Our aim is to show the situation in various areas around the country and to show whether Wales, as we all have long suspected is the major player in puppy farming.  So far, the responses show that indeed, the problem in Wales is HUGE and far in excess of any other county.  It also shows some other worrying pockets though.

It is not unusual to see breeders with well over FIFTY breeding dogs in other areas.  Is this appropriate in any form?  If a breeder has a huge property and staff, should this sort of  breeding be licensed?   Should there be some kind of limit on how many dogs a breeder has, regardless of how many they could fit in?

We think that there should be limits.  For animals who ultimately share our homes, sleep in our beds, kiss our children, the early socialisation of a pet who shares an intimate relationship with us is vital.  Anything less is dangerous, cruel and greedy.  There must be a number at which the personal care, attention and normal behaviour of dogs is affected by numbers.

So the question is – what is that number? And bear in mind, there are a few very good breeders, who health test, have dogs in the home and offer lifetime back up.

When the report is ready, will anyone listen?  Will the Welsh Assembly or the councils in the two most prolific counties do anything?  Will people finally STOP buying them?  Watch this space and see.

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About Safepets UK

Expert Witness behaviourist assessing dogs for court, treating cats and dogs. Covering Midlands to London and other areas.

5 responses »

  1. Simon says:

    I’ve always thought the best way forward would be to bring in a pet ownership licence and enforce it. The licence should be earned (like a driving licence) after a competency test. Without this licence, it is illegal to own any pet. It can be lost just as easily. Certain actions will result in points i.e. aggressive behaviour from dog etc. and the licence can be lost. With the licence you can own as many animals as you can afford to keep. Make it illegal to give, sell or loan any animal to someone without a licence. Each micro-chipped animal would be registered to the licence holder like a vehicle.

    This will solve several problems. Firstly fewer dog owners means less demand means fewer breeders/less ‘stock’ being created. It will be better for the animals’ welfare. It will help rehome lost animals more quickly and prosecute neglect cases. Any complaints about nuisance animals can be dealt with quickly, and any missing licences will result in immediate confiscation BEFORE the animal attacks.

    The key to this working however is that it does need to be enforced and therefore will need money and a team not unlike the DVLA. The failed licences previously were per dog and never made enough to warrant enforcement. Done properly, there will be minimal expense to dog owners, maximum impact on the breeders (suddenly they have to vet new owners for fear of breaking the law or go to prison)

    The biggest draw back and possibly the deal killer would be implementation…

    I’m looking for reasons why this wouldn’t work, go ahead 😉

  2. safepets uk says:

    I wrote about dog registration documents for dogs over 3 years ago and have discussed with councils, Police and dog owners. Our attitude here is traceability means accountability and is therefore the way forward. Having run 2 stray pounds, I also know the problems of “not my problem, sold to man in pub” responses.
    Official responses are always the same, can’t fund it.
    However once my report on Freedom of Information responses about breeding and dangerous dogs get put together I’ll have more facts to back up cost effectiveness.
    Debbie C

  3. barnsey says:

    Will your FOI request give numbers only, or is it possible to find out from the Local Authority the addresses of these breeders? I am thinking re lost/stolen dogs; I imagine they could easily be sold to puppy farms, so if you have your dog stolen, is it possible to find out who has a licence to breed that type of dog? With perhaps some vague remote chance of making personal enquiries to try and find your animal again? Also, do the local authorities regularly inspect these premises with a scanner to check that the dogs there aren’t reported lost? Probably not, but is it possible to require them to do this?

    • safepets uk says:

      Good questions. FOI does not allow the release of breeders names and addresses as that is sadly in breach of Data Protection Act. SOme of the puppy farm campaigners do have lots of names and addresses, but as the law stands, there is no ability to check the dogs. Better licensing requirements allowing for individual dog identification needs to be brought in, then regular checks done to see exactly which dogs are there. This does not exist and this trade continues.

  4. Ana says:

    I know someone sale boxers and they don’t pay tax they don’t pay nothing and the man beat on dogs all time.

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