'It is time to stop puppy farms once and for all'
Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Baroness Parminter writes following her question in the Lords this week calling for updated legislation related to dog breeding and boarding.
Dogs are being abused on a daily basis. The popularity of man’s best friend, and the significant price tag for individual dogs, has encouraged some to farm puppies. For some, an animal is merely a factory and a litter of pups only as valuable as the money they can sell them for. Shockingly this greed means that in the UK fewer than 12% of puppies born in the UK are bred by licenced breeders.
Applying the rules of mass production to a dog has seen criminals factory farming puppies, forcing bitches into pregnancy after pregnancy, with no regard for the health of any of the animals concerned.
We must act to stop this cruel practice, the current laws go unenforced, leaving animals abused, distressed and vulnerable. The current laws are inadequate, the numbers prove it, only 67,000 out of the estimated 560,000 puppies born nationwide are born through licensed dog breeders.
I have pushed the Government to change the rules on puppy farms. It is vital that we bring in mandatory licences for dog breeding ensuring that when a breeder is found to be mistreating animals they have their licence removed and face a heavy fine. With mandatory licences, local councils would also receive much needed funds through these finds, money that can help enforce welfare standards and stamp out breeding abuses. Those looking to buy a pet will also be safe in the knowledge that they are buying from breeders that are reaching enforced high standards.
Liberal Democrats have been calling for a change to the law to protect puppies for many years, but this shouldn’t be a party political issue. The issue of puppy farming is surely something that people of conscience across all parties can agree must be tackled.
In response to my question, the Government promised to review the existing legislation with the potential for a public consultation on the matter in the near future. It was a glimmer of hope to all the animals that still suffer today. The movements by the Government suggest the end is in sight but I will implore that anyone who agrees with me, anyone that says puppy farming must be ended, should join my calls for the Government to put an end to this practice. We must not remain silent whilst these dogs are bred in such appalling conditions.
It is time to stop puppy farms once and for all.
Get the inside track on what MPs and Peers are talking about. Sign up to The House's morning email for the latest insight and reaction from Parliamentarians, policy-makers and organisations.