Five kittens have died in a matter of weeks. A pregnant Bengal stray, found by Yorkshire Animal Rescue, lost her complete litter despite the best efforts of her carers. The mother, named Kiki by the charity, isn’t the only pregnant pedigree cat in poor health to be found wandering in the local area. Yorkshire Animal Rescue has warned that kitten farmers may be operating nearby (find the full story here).
Many retailers and industry members are already helping to end this cruel practice by encouraging customers to source their animals from reputable organisations and breeders. Issues surrounding the sale of puppies and kittens have also reached the ears of MPs. The House of Commons debated the problem in autumn 2014, following an e-petition arguing against large scale commercial breeding programmes.
Puppy and kitten farming has been reported to lead to shockingly low levels of animal welfare. Mothers may be forced to produce a detrimentally high of number of litters. Animals can display poor socialisation, inherited diseases and preventable conditions when breeders pay little or no attention to their welfare.
The Kennel Club is campaigning against the continuation of puppy farming. Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, explained: ‘Puppy farming is a horrific industry that can only be halted if puppy buyers get wise to where puppy farmers sell their pups and the kind of corners they will cut. We urge people to do their research before they buy a puppy and to never buy a puppy from a pet shop or from an online seller who won’t show the puppy with its mum, in its home environment and we have created a list of dos and don’ts of puppy buying to help to guide puppy buyers through the process.
‘We always recommend that people go to a member of Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, as this is the only scheme in the country that sets standards for and inspects dog breeders, and the Kennel Club has UKAS recognition to certify these breeders. Outside of this scheme, puppy farming is rife and there is little regulation, so it is hard for puppy buyers to know who to trust and they end up paying the price financially and emotionally further down the line, with puppies suffering unnecessarily as result.’