Government Crackdown on Backstreet Puppy Breeders Welcomed

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been campaigning for new legislation

Government Crackdown on Backstreet Puppy Breeders Welcomed By Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Laila has suffered the consequences of back street breeding - see how to help her below

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has welcomed the Government’s new tougher dog breeding licensing rules, which promise to go some way towards clamping down on the indiscriminate dog breeders that have put profit before animal welfare.

Two years ago the rescuing and rehoming charity launched their End Backstreet Breeding campaign, shining a spotlight on the shocking practice of breeding dogs over and over again in squalid conditions.

Now the Government's new rules are expected to make it illegal to sell puppies younger than eight weeks old - something Battersea Dogs & Cats has been calling for.

Anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year will also have to apply for a formal licence or face an unlimited fine or prison sentence.

Responding to this week's Government announcement, Battersea’s Chief Executive Claire Horton, said, “Battersea knows only too well that backstreet and commercial puppy breeding is a huge issue that affects many thousands of animals and pet owners every year. We take in the battered, exhausted breeding bitches cast out onto the street once they’re past their sell-by date. We care for the under-socialised, sick or dying puppies, sold to unsuspecting owners who, faced with mounting vet bills or behaviour issues, often give them up.

"We launched our End Backstreet Breeding campaign two years ago to urge the Government to act, so we’re pleased to see that our calls have not gone unheeded.

“It’s high time we put a stop to the many undercover backstreet breeders and large-scale puppy farmers that profit from their cruel treatment of these animals. No puppy should start its life in cramped, squalid surroundings, before being torn away from their mother at a few weeks old. So many owners buying their new pet would be horrified to know that this was indeed the case. Toughening the current dog breeding licensing rules, and making it completely illegal to sell puppies younger than eight weeks old is a welcome first step and we now look forward to working with the Government to see these plans be put into practice and progress further.”

Laila, a recent arrival at our London centre, is a striking example of the consequences of backstreet breeding. Found wandering in Tower Hamlets in January, it was obvious that the five-year-old had been used repeatedly for breeding. The young dog’s mammary glands were so swollen, painful to the touch, and covered in sores, that our veterinary staff believe Laila has had multiple litters of puppies and been used as a breeding machine. Despite what she’s been through, Laila is a sweet and friendly dog, who is now looking for a home of her own.

Battersea Dogs & Cats also welcomed the Government’s commitment to several other important measures that will improve the lives of puppies and kittens. The requirement for online adverts to contain licensing information will make it harder to sell puppies illegally.


February 4, 2017