The UK spent nearly £4.6 billion on pets last year. The lucrative industry is home to professionals with a passion for animals. Most are highly concerned with welfare needs. Sadly, a small money-hungry minority have been shown to exploit dogs and other pets for financial gain, with no concern for health and wellbeing.
The RSPCA reported that a recently sentenced gang made £35,000 a week in undeclared cash by selling ill and dying puppies. It fears that this was only one of many set-ups around the country and has rescued 1,000 dogs from dealers and puppy farms in less than three years.
The new RSPCA campaign aims to combat puppy trafficking. It’s calling for mandatory licensing for anyone selling puppies in England, saying:
- Anyone selling a puppy must have a licence.
- Strong penalties and fines for anyone caught selling a puppy without a licence.
- A national database of puppy sellers (funded by licence fees) to aid enforcement.
- All internet and offline advertisers must display the licence number of the seller in order to list an advert.
The RSPCA is far from the only section of the pet trade to clamp down on puppy farming. Many members of the industry have already condemned barbaric practices that do not place animals’ welfare first. We can hope we’re moving towards a future where all pets’ needs are met in safe, comfortable homes.