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"I will never understand why people continue to breed animals when there are already so many animals here to exploit and abuse." - Greg Lawson
"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity." - William Shakespeare (circa 1600)

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Buying any animal is regarded, under British Law, as exactly the same as purchasing any other consumer product.

Amongst other things, it must be 'fit for purpose' and 'as described'.

If not, you have certain legal rights as the buyer.

Know your rights when buying a puppy or pet

Information about Pet buyers rights from Consumer Direct

More advice/information here - DirectGov - Buying a dog

Both open in a new window

Some information and links concerning Puppy Farming

Over the years we have found ourselves taking a growing interest in this subject.

You have probably heard of puppy farming - the mass breeding of pups for sale to the pet market - but are you aware of the scale of the problem? - how much money is involved? - how many people turn a blind eye to the suffering of the dogs involved? - how it pervades and corrupts our society and how its influence affects our lawmakers and enforcers when they try to legislate to control it?

We are not talking of 'farmers' in the normal sense of the word, although some of the perpetrators are indeed farmers with a sideline to boost their income, most are just rather callous people who are taking advantage of an opportunity to make an easy profit.
When we use the term 'puppy farmers' we are describing an attitude of mind methodically applied to breeding dogs. To a puppy farmer the dogs they employ in their breeding programs are simply commodities. A means to an end. These dogs mean no more to them than a potato means to a potato farmer. Something to be planted and harvested. So what if some of the 'potatoes' wilt and die? So what if some die slowly due to lack of care and basic needs like fresh water and proper nutrition? There are plenty that will live - at least long enough to reproduce a few times. And what about the  fruits of the crop - the puppies - doesn't matter if a few of these die - there will always be enough that survive for at least as long as is needed for them to be sold and produce the profit required. Once the money is in their pockets the puppy farmers simply do not care about the outcome for the puppies.  
Puppy farming is death and torture for the dogs caught up in the trade and the trade feeds on people desires to possess a pet and ignorance of the way the pups are bred. Puppy farmers are well organised and they seek to cover their activities under a veneer of respectability. They work together to protect each other. They seek to influence from within the establishment - for example, we have come across one who has a boyfriend working for the local council that licenses her establishment - he is a dog warden. Another we are aware of has a brother who runs the local dog stray pound for the council. By these means and other ways of influencing from within they can improve their chances of hearing about complaints and spot inspections in enough time to cover up and clean up.
We are not talking about happy sires and dams enjoying the life and fresh air of the countryside and bringing their healthy well bred offspring into a caring environment with plenty of room for exercise. We are talking the lifestyle of a battery hen with minimal care and veterinary attention bringing poorly bred pups into often badly maintained premises and sometimes never seeing the outside world or getting any human care and attention. Fresh air is available - coming through the broken windows and holes in the roof.
Of course we are generalising here - not all puppy farms are like this - some are much worse.
These days, most pet shops get their stock from commercial breeders (puppy farmers). Buying a pup from a pet shop or through an advert in the papers is supporting this trade and you simply should not do it. It makes you as bad as them. Find out more by reading the pages on the websites linked below and in the meantime - remember this - Never Buy A Puppy From A Pet Shop.
Born To Die - an article about over breeding and Puppy Farms
To find out why click here and read this message from - Say No to Animals in Pet Shops - an Australian organisation.
Why support any bans on the sale of puppies by pet shops?
A Case History
The RSPCA are campaigning against puppy farming and for a greater awareness of the pitfalls of acquiring a puppy

"Born to Suffer" is a campaign launched by the RSPCA to see an end
to the irresponsible breeding of all dogs, including pedigrees - Click here to find out more.

In the video below, Victoria Stilwell, TV presenter and dog trainer, speaks out in support of the RSPCA "Born to Suffer" campaign and reveals her concerns about the way that dogs are bred for looks
Thinking about purchasing a pedigree dog - read this information from the RSPCA first

If you have purchased a sick puppy or have any information regarding puppy farming in the UK, tell the people on the end of the link below.
Campaigning against puppy farming for many years, puppyalert contains a wealth of information and practical advice.
Another campaign against puppy farming is being spearheaded by Puppy Love, an organisation dedicate to fighting such abuse.
Information on this website -

Video below

Know your rights when buying a puppy or pet - Information about Pet buyers rights from Consumer Direct - Opens in a new window

Support & fellowship for owners of ex puppy farm and rescue dogs.

If you have a puppy farm bred dog, you may want to share your experiences with others who also have dogs from puppy farms. The following group has been set up specifically to help people with puppy farm problems.

We already have one or two articles dotted around our site that mention various aspects of puppy farming.
Information from around the UK and abroad.
The following links are to articles on websites from around the world.
In the USA Missouri is a problem area (among many) for puppy farms - read more here


 The Breeding and Sale of dogs Act - HMSO - 1999

Wales - Magnet for puppy farms (2003)    Puppy Farm Grants Row (2003)   Animal welfare and Animal Rights groups in Wales
Puppy Farm Capital (2004)       ISPCA re-home puppy farm dogs (2003)
Mo-Kan BCR - Missouri Puppy Mills   AKC takes it on the chin    Puppy 'Lemon' Law?
No Puppy Mills
Australia and New Zealand
Oscars Law    Say No to Animals in Pet Shops    Animal Welfare / Animal Rights groups in Aus    A problem for NZ ?    
Trading in Dog Meat
Belgium (in French and Dutch languages)

Some Organisations / Websites / Articles informing and / or campaigning against Puppy Farms
Campaign groups
Puppy Watch - Puppy Love Campaigns - Pup Aid - Puppy Alert - HOPE UK - RSPCA
 Prevent Unwanted Pets    West Highland White
Media articles
BBC Inside Out - The Guardian


Our own view is that further legislation is required to alleviate the problems associated with licensed and unlicensed commercial breeders and the sale of puppies through third parties.

The number of litters bred each year, which constitutes required registration as a commercial breeder should be reduced. Three litters per annum should be the top limit.


Our view on supply to the public is that the sale of puppies should only be permissible directly from their breeder. This should apply in all instances and there should be a complete ban on third party sale, be it from retail premises or via agents.

Local authorities should issue breeders with unique references and maintain a public register of breeders which includes a registered address of the breeding/retail premises. All advertisements for the sale of puppies should be required to carry this registration reference along with the address of the premises where the puppies are being sold.
Advertising media should be obliged to only accept advertisements for publication which bear the registration reference and address of point of sale and should be obliged to check with the local authority covering that address, in order to verify the reference matches the registered address and advertised address, prior to publication of the advert.

Self produced advertising, posters, leaflets, own website Etc, in fact any medium, should carry the same requirement for address and registration reference.

The fee for registration and licence as a commercial breeder should include that of retailer and inspections of premises would be for both aspects of trading and would occur at the same time.

Non-commercial breeders, hobby breeders, occasional breeders, backyard breeders should also be bound by the same requirements and should be obliged to register each litter with their local authority and be issued a reference before they can offer the puppies for sale. The fee for such registration should be minimal as no inspection of premises would be required. A simple registration form, downloaded from a local authority website or available to be picked up at council premises, filled out and sent in with a fee, registered and a response issued by email or post with the reference included.

Commercial breeders would require a single reference covering continued activity. Occasional breeders who fall below the level of litters that constitute commercial activities should obtain a reference for each litter bred and offered for sale.

Rescue organisations should be obliged to register with local authorities and obtain an exemption from licensing requirements for re-homing puppies. The exemption should only apply to charitable organisations and registered non profits as defined by charity law and/or company law.

Unregulated commercial rescue's who do not meet these standards should be obliged to obtain and apply a reference in the same manner as a commercial breeder.


The breeding and sale of dogs act (welfare) 1999 and preceding acts of 1973 and 1991 gives Councils the power to licence breeding establishments. Although all councils are interpreting the same law, the information they gather, the conditions they require and the way they inspect premises and enforce legal requirements varies. The information they display on their website also varies in content and quantity.
Why not check out how your own local authority deals with this issue?

To navigate through other articles on our website that cover puppy farming and associated topics like breeding and inherited problems, use the image of 'Kane' ( below ), who is just one of the puppy farmed dogs that BCR takes in each year. The image will appear at the bottom of each relevant article. Click the image and you will be taken to the next article. At the bottom of that article will be another image to take you to the next - and so on - until you will eventually return to the top of this page.
Follow that dog !
Know your rights when buying a puppy or pet - Information about Pet buyers rights from Consumer Direct - Opens in a new window


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