Friday, May 05, 2006

The Greens Want To Curb Puppy Farming

Hope-UK's comments are in red where appropriate.

Wed., March 22, 2006. 14:20.

The Greens Want To Curb Puppy Farming

Wed., March 22, 2006. 14:20.Unscrupulous traders who abuse, neglect and/or exploit puppies now face a tough clampdown thanks to proposals put before Parliament by Green MSPsThe move coincides with the release today of pictures of puppy farms that Green MSP Mark Ruskell says reveal merely the "tip of the iceberg" on this lucrative trade. (1)The proposed amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill, to be examined today by MSPs, is backed by the charity Advocates for Animals. (2) Green MSP Mark Ruskell, deputy convener of the environment committee which is scrutinising the bill, will argue that banning such imports is the only way to prevent abuse. It will also protect those who buy such puppies under the impression that they are in good health, only to discover later that their new pet is far from healthy. The amendment does not ban all puppy imports, but seeks to ban imports from puppy farms that do not have decent welfare conditions. Hope-UK feels that is not a strong enough measure and NO puppy should be born on any commercial establishment.
Mr Ruskell said, "It's high time that Scotland took measures to stop the sale of puppies that have languished in filthy conditions, and been abused and neglected. This change to legislation will help clampdown on unscrupulous traders, within the UK and in other countries, who are concerned only with making a fast buck. These traders don't care about dogs or the buyers who often pay hundreds of pounds only to discover later that their new pet is far from healthy." Please look to UK and see what little if any 'licensing has had here? We even have unlicensed breeders in countless numbers - and they still manage to find outlets to sell their puppies...does it sound as if we have got to the bottom of Puppy Farming? Please know the trade for what it is, A HUGE MONEY MAKING MACHINE THAT WILL NEVER ALTER NOR GO AWAY UNLESS YOU MAKE IT ILLEGAL..
On Greens' proposals to ban wild animals in circuses, something already underway in England & Wales with UK government backing, Mr Ruskell said:"Using wild animals in circuses is medieval practice that is thankfully going to be banned south of the border. It's now time for the Scotland to follow to grab this opportunity to do the same. There is a case for domestic animals to continue to play a role in circuses with suitable regulation, but research shows that over 80% of people want to see wild animals banned and now is the time to deliver that ban."Daniel Turner, spokesperson for the Born Free Foundation, said, "There is a clear consensus from animal welfare scientists, politician and the public that the frequent travelling and restrictive environments in circuses mean that they cannot provide for the basic needs of wild animals. We welcome indications from Westminster that the use of wild animals in circuses will be prohibited, and hope similar measures will be adopted in Scotland under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill to ensure a timely and compassionate end to the exploitation of wild animals in British circuses."Greens are also opposing moves for ministers to have unlimited powers to slaughter animals in the case of outbreak of a disease, though last Wednesday Labour and LibDem MSPs threw out amendments designed to ensure plans in the event of an outbreak of disease were well managed and co-ordinated in liaison with relevant experts.It's hoped that Green proposals for a complete ban on tail-docking will go through, despite efforts by some campaign groups to secure an exemption for working dogs.ENDSFor further information call the Green MSP press office on 0131 348 6360/0771 761 8771.Notes1.

Background information on puppy trade from
Advocates for Animals.
For pictures, call Advocates on 0131 225 6039.Puppies from puppy farms in Ireland are regularly imported into Scotland, then either sold in Scotland or taken to England for sale. The puppy farms supplying the Scottish market are mainly in the Republic of Ireland, but also in Northern Ireland.An estimated 200-300 puppies are imported each week into Scotland from Ireland. Most arrive in the port of Cairn Ryan. In a short pre-Christmas period 2005 the Ulster SPCA stopped vehicles at Larne Harbour carrying over 300 pups to the Scottish and English markets.This is a highly lucrative trade.

The animals involved are pedigree puppies, which can fetch high prices - £800 for a pedigree Bull Mastiff, £600 for a pedigree St Bernard and £250-£300 for a pedigree West Highland terrier.The Ulster SPCA states that in the Republic of Ireland a bitch in a puppy farm will produce two litters a year, i.e. around 16 puppies capable of retailing in the UK at a minimum of £300 each. Thus one solitary animal confined in a shed, never seeing daylight or receiving veterinary care can generate around £4500 a year. The Irish SPCA is aware of individual farms in the Republic with 200 breeding bitches generating a turnover of £1 million a year.

The appalling conditions in which the dogs are kept include blacked out sheds and scrap cars. In some cases the animals are forced to live in their own excrement and drink from filthy containers. In a recent raid the Ulster SPCA found bitches being fed on the maggot infected carcases of bull calves.On puppy farms some of the pups born on the farm are often kept to form new breeding stock. This inbreeding leads to congenital deformity and reduced disease resistance.The puppies are generally transported in extremely poor conditions, often crammed into cages for the long journey to Scotland.

The long journeys are so stressful that some of the puppies fail to survive and die en route.Many of the puppies are diseased; they may have severe parasite infections, parvo virus, distemper or gastroenteritis. People who buy them face the financial burden of extensive veterinary care and the heartache of loosing their new puppy should it ultimately have to be put to sleep.

The dealers who import the puppies sell them either through newspaper/website adverts or to pet shops – buyers cannot know if a puppy sold in one of these ways comes from a puppy farm or not. Sometimes dealers sell them in car parks or motorway service stations; the public should avoid animals sold in this way as they may well come from puppy farms.The Executive states that the trade will not be prohibited, but will be regulated by its secondary legislation which will provide that the trade can only be conducted by people licensed by local authorities. We have licensed breeders here in the UK - with so called legislation to adhere to. Sadly, although these breeders are inspected once a year before their new licensed is granted - many of these places are still not fit for the purpose of breeding dogs. We have people contact Hope-UK who tell us that the 'inspections' are only a formality and that licenses being reissued is a certainty. Is this what is envisaged for Scotland and deemed to be an improvement. We have licensed premises here in the UK with 100's of breeding this considered good for the dogs living on these places. These poor breeding bitches are still subjected to breeding when they come into season (every season) and their puppies taken and sold from them before they are even weaned. I simply cannot understand the reasoning for keeping any type of commercial dog breeding establishment. We are destroying thousands and thousands of dogs week after week here in the UK (I imagine the same is as true of Scotland). Please end commercial breeding and end the suffering of the dogs caught in this Trade! You know as well as I, that there is not the money nor the man power to 'Police' this trade and make sure that 'licensed breeders adhere to their licensing code...Puppy Farming (dogs in general are given very low priority when it comes down to enforcing the LAW! There is also corruption and intimidation in the World of PF. The breeders, but mainly the dealers are also caught up in other illegal activities...
One black labrador looks pretty much the same as another (as do many other breeds) to the uninitiated? How can these people possibly say which bitch had one litter and which one was has been mated continually. Who really knows the age of these dogs? It is beyond belief to think that any PF will adhere to breeding ages....and numbers of litters. Look at the poor dogs who come into Rescue here in the UK from PF. Some of these dogs are from licensed premises. Does it look as if the 1999 Welfare Act is working for them?

Dealers will be required to have suitable premises for the animals before any licence would be issued. Dealers should not be allowed to collect the dogs..and then sell them far and wide. The licensing will not work...and puppies who are ill will be placed with healthy puppies. The mass collection of puppies is barbaric and should not even be considered. There should be NO other party involved. Once a puppy is born (NOT FROM ANY COMMERCIAL PUPPY BREEDING ESTABLISHMENT) its only next place of residence should be its home, not a dealers car, van etc etc - nor a PET SHOP/COMMERCIAL OUTLET.

Greens want to prevent imported puppies coming from puppy farms in Ireland that have extremely poor welfare standards for both the puppies and the bitches.Current legislation in UKPuppy farming is not defined by legislation. However, the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended by the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999) applies in Scotland, England and Wales and seeks to prohibit the worst aspects of puppy farming. Section 1(4) provides that, when granting a licence for a dog breeding establishment, a local authority must include conditions in the licence for securing certain specified objects; these objects include (among other things) that:· Dogs are kept in accommodation that is suitable as regards size, exercising facilities, temperature, ventilation and cleanliness; · Dogs are adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material; · Dogs are adequately exercised; · Bitches under one year of age are not mated; · Bitches do not give birth to more than 6 litters; and · Bitches do not give birth more than once a year. This is cloud cuckoo land...these animals are a money making machine there is NO love or sentiment attached to them from the PF! Again I ask, have you seen the photos of the bitches from Puppy Farms here in the UK (some of them licensed) they cannot even walk, have had NO real contact from humans and are in more cases than not, a walking case of ailments so bad - that pain must be their constant companion.
Dogs are companion animals - and to read that they should be given adequate, food water and bedding (like cattle) does not make me feel this Bill is for the betterment of the animals concerned.

Mark Russell's amendment seeks to ensure that puppies are not brought into Scotland for sale if they come from establishments outwith Scotland that fail to comply with the key provisions (listed above) of section 1(4) of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended).The amendment prohibits the import of puppies from puppy farms. Because the word “import” is not appropriate to puppies coming from Northern Ireland, the amendment also prohibits the sale in Scotland of a puppy that was born or reared in an establishment outside Scotland that does not meet the standards specified in section 1(4) of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended).2. Amendment is:163 After section 20, insert—Contact the Scottish Greens' press team on
0771 761 8771 or 0790 9933 074.
Content & Design © 2004 The Scottish Green Party (Imprint).This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License, unless otherwise noted.

1 comment:

penny said...

Well done you for speaking out.

I bought a puppy from a petshop many moons ago, before I knew what puppy farming was. Miska died at 9 months old from a swelling on the brain, my vet said it happened when she was a puppy. She was nearly blind when I bought her.

I would never buy from anywhere like that again.