Government Sponsored Cruelty
The mass breeding of battery farmed puppies came into being when milk quotas were introduced in the 1980s. The Government encouraged Farmers to apply for Grants to diversify, to supplement the low prices paid for milk quotas.
This criminal funding was given without any thought for the welfare standards of the breeding dogs and the puppies they produced.
The farmers latched onto the word ‘farming’ hence the title “Puppy Farming”.
Obsolete barns, outbuildings disused chicken houses are used, most dogs are kept locked inside 24 hours a day in complete darkness for years. The dogs are forced to eat, sleep and give birth in the same area they urinate and defecate.
Battery Farmed Puppies
It is estimated 50,000 puppies from Ireland and 28,000 from Wales are trafficked into England every year. Most of the puppies are destined for pet shops and dealers, who will advertise them in local newspapers and on the internet.
Puppies are taken off their mother at about 4 weeks old which is far too young, they are transported to where they will eventually be sold from. These small puppies could travel hundreds of miles and be passed around several times before they reach their selling point.
Death is common and is an acceptable loss in the “trade”.
Puppy Farms are legal.
Unscrupulous Breeders and Puppy Farms
Sadly not every dog breeder is honest or caring of our canine friends. Pedigree puppies can fetch high sums of money.
An initial search online brings the large websites first, so many puppies needing homes.
A quick summary of warning alarm bells should be:-
- Puppies that are offered to be delivered.
- An owner who seems reluctant to use a landline or give an address.
- Puppies for sale in pet stores.
- A meeting at a strange location e.g. motorway service station.
A good breeder will be very keen to know about you. Be prepared for a reputable breeder to make your enquiry feel more like an interview. Make sure you visit the home of the breeder and see the parents of the puppy, I would even go as far as getting references.
We were fooled, everything looked right, the breeder claimed she only bred one litter a year, and is Kennel Club Registered! I kept in touch with the breeder sending photos and stories, then at six months old Molly developed serious health problems, the most devastating of which is Syringomyelia. I contacted the breeder expressing my concern, I have not had any response. This breeder is under suspicion for unscrupulous breeding and possible involvement in Puppy Farming.
Remember the Poor Puppy
Whatever you do, please do not return the puppy if it is ill – you could be sending it to its death. Instead approach the breed rescue organisation for advice.
Video of Puppy Farming Conditions
Third party puppy sales are banned in England from 6th April 2020
‘Lucy’s Law’ means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.
The law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm where she was subjected to terrible conditions. Puppy farms are located across the UK with most depending on third-party sellers or ‘dealers’ to distribute often sick, traumatised, unsocialised puppies which have been taken away from their mother at just a few weeks old.
Marc Abraham, media vet, author, founder of Pup Aid and the Lucy’s Law campaign, said:
“I’m incredibly proud to have led the 10-year campaign to ban cruel puppy and kitten dealers and to get this essential Lucy’s Law legislation over the line. I’d like to give a huge thanks to UK Government for passing this law, as well as every animal-loving parliamentarian, celebrity, welfare organisation, and member of the public that supported us”.