BBC programme Panorama has caused uproar on social media as upset viewers took to websites to express their upset at the puppy farms shown.
According to the programme a third of all dogs bought today come from puppy farms – licensed and unlicensed.
Puppies and mothers were shown to be sold via online selling pages falsely claiming they were from a family home, with a ‘show dog’ being used as the mum. Living conditions were small areas or wooden boxes, with small amounts of sawdust and water bottles drilled in.
Becky Thwaites, Blue Cross public affairs manager: “At our animal hospitals, we treat puppies bred on farms like the one shown on last night’s Panorama all too often. Heartbreakingly, they fall seriously ill or even die shortly after arriving in their new homes.
“The huge demand for puppies and the ease of selling them online has led to an increase in unscrupulous breeders who care more about making a quick a buck than about the welfare of the pets they are selling, or their parents.
“We’re working hard to improve standards for the online advertising of pets and advising the public on what to look out for when buying a puppy, and we’re also calling for a reform of animal welfare legislation.
“We need an effective – and properly enforced – system of licensing for anyone who breeds or sells pets, including those importing pets from outside the UK for sale online.
“We also want to a compulsory registration database for all breeders and sellers, to give potential pet owners peace of mind that they are buying a healthy puppy and root out unscrupulous breeders.”
The conclusion of the programme showed a litter of deceased puppies left at the side of the road by a dealer who had realised they were either dead or dying.