Roger Salmon column

Roger Salmon.
Roger Salmon.

A campaign (PupAid) and e-petition launched to tackle puppy farms has been debated in the House of Commons.

The petition calls for a stop to puppies being sold without their mother being present so that prospective owners can see the physical state and social behaviour of the maternal side of the family.

When choosing a dog prospective owners should always consider adopting from a reputable rescue centre such as Animal Care or Woolfwood or contact the Kennel Club for a list of accredited breeders where mother and puppy can be seen reacting together.

If you have suspicions about a puppy farmer you should report the incident to your local authority or Consumer Direct at 0845 404 0506.

The PupAid campaign and petition has been supported by numerous high profile celebrities including comedian Ricky Gervais, musician Brian May and actor Peter Egan.

Puppy farmers primarily liaise through pet shops, garden centres, free newspaper adverts and the internet to sell their puppies so the campaign hopes to tackle the problem at the point of sale.

The Kennel Club has backed the proposal and believe that tighter control of breeding is required such as the Accredited Breeder Scheme.

The problem is that puppies are taken away from their mother at a young age and sold in pet shops.

As a result of being separated from their mother too early, the puppies don’t receive the socialisation they usually would and are born into the squalid conditions the breeding bitch is forced to live in, becoming riddled with disease.

All too often puppies die within weeks of their new owners getting them home because of this practice.

Many of these breeders have a number of breeding bitches that have a number of litters each year. They are rarely given time to recover before the next litter.

The purpose of this debate is to raise the awareness of this issue and hopefully encourage the government to introduce its own legislation. Although the petition has the support of 50 MPs, animal lovers are urged to write to their local MP via a template on the official website. For more details visit www.pupaid.org.