Battery farming and pet vending

Sadly, far too many dogs are bred for a quick profit by intensive breeders who have little or no regard for the basic needs of the dogs concerned. We prefer to use the term "battery farmed dogs" rather than "puppy farms" as this better conveys to members of the public the terrible conditions that some dogs are kept in. Dogs on battery farms are born and live in filthy, unsanitary conditions, they are often denied proper veterinary care, and can be isolated, ignored and left in the dark for days on end. Many puppies from battery farms die despite the best efforts of their new owners. The lucky ones that survive are often deeply affected by the conditions they have experienced and can suffer from lasting psychological damage.

Breeding bitches will often have give birth to a litter per season until they are physically exhausted. Sadly, they are likely to be unceremoniously dumped when they are no longer of no use.

Many of these 'battery farmed' puppies are sold on through classified or online adverts or they end up for sale in pet shops.

Dogs Trust does not consider that a pet shop is a suitable place for the sale of puppies. A lack of knowledge about how to properly go about acquiring a puppy results in many people unwittingly supporting the trade in puppy farmed and trafficked dogs.

To promote the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches Dogs Trust is campaigning for the introduction of Secondary legislation on Pet Vending under the Animal Welfare Act which would prohibit the sale of puppies in pet shops. However, the battery farming and trafficking of dogs is a UK wide problem and we are urging all Local Authorities to take action if they suspect local battery farming activity.

Local Authorities must rigorously enforce conditions in premises where dogs are bred under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, as is their statutory responsibility, and unlicensed breeders must be prosecuted by the local Council, rather than just issued with a licence.

Dogs Trust works closely with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) and other welfare organisations to ensure that all online, print and classified advertising contains appropriate welfare messages, and that publishers do not advertise dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act or those from establishments which are not fit for the breeding or boarding of animals. For more information on with work of PAAG please visit the group's website.