View Full Version : Puppy farming, written by a RSPCA Inspector

Margaret C
29th January 2010, 12:08 AM

Interesting article

29th January 2010, 11:01 AM
It matches what was said to me by a former head of the ISPCA over here, who was an inspector with the RSPCA -- I interviewed him for my Irish Times story on Puppy Farms, a story inspired by what I began to find out abut how horrifically cavaliers are farmed, brokered, and exported. I would never advise getting a puppy from anyone who keeps their dogs in kennels, especially outdoor kennel blocks (and 'kennels' would be a glorified term for the conditions some keep their dogs in -- old horse stalls, wooden box kennels, old farm outbuildings, and garden sheds are often the sad choice of permanent home. I would guess hundreds upon hundreds of cavaliers that are sold via websites and free ads magazines and newspapers live in such hellish conditions -- yet again why I ask people to please, please, go to the breeder, expect to see where the dogs live, expect to be able to inspect certs for real health testing (not just something the local vet signed).

One of the greatest ironies I think is that many breeders, including the 'proper' show breeders, keep their own dogs in conditions that they would NEVER allow the puppies they are selling to go to. Some of those who insist on indoor homes, safely fenced back gardens, and so on for the puppies they sell keep their own dogs outside in kennels and the only interaction they get is being allowed out for exercise, then back they go. A few are shown and thus get some extra attention, or get to live in the house. Some breeders have really nice provisions for their dogs -- but still -- unless they have free run of the house and get to be family dogs too (and many do), it is a pretty grim life for a social animal to spend all its time going from kennels to a bit of exercise then back in kennels; producing puppies all along the way. The only chance these dogs get for a decent life i when they are generally homed at the end of their breeding life. Sadly I also know of breeders who would simply put the dogs down at this point. It's shame as breed rescues would have no problems homing 6-7 year old retired breeding girls. Even small children know instinctively that keeping dogs in kennels is not very humane. How sad that we lose this ability to see this as we get older and able to rationalise up reasons as to why this is OK.

29th January 2010, 11:11 AM
Check out "Ear to the ground" on the RTE website Karlin.
It was shown on Monday night on RTE1.
The programme features an interview with two puppy farmers.
They mainly have complaints about the new legislation in terms of financial cost to them.
They complain that they're not actually given subsidies from the government on account of their contribution to the economy and finally, in response to questions about the dogs being kept indoors in a shed all their lives,that's ok,because that's what they're used to...they never know anything else and one goes on to say that when he opens the pens to feed them the dogs wouldn't even think of coming out.

29th January 2010, 11:14 AM
Sigh. Yes that sounds pretty much par for the course. My great hope is that many of these cretins will get out of their dirty little 'business' when the new legislation comes in, which looks to be within the next 4 weeks, according to a radio interview recently with the minister.

29th January 2010, 11:38 AM
Here is a link to the programme:
Apart from the legislation issues, one of the things that bothered me was the piece about exercise, with one of the interviewees stating that he only exercised a dog if the vet told him to. What kind of life is that for a dog?

Karen and Ruby
29th January 2010, 01:05 PM
Just clicked your link but it said its expired- is there any other way to find it?

29th January 2010, 03:22 PM
Just click here --> www.rte.ie/player and go to Tues 26th on the calendar to find the link. It's the first part of the program.

I watched it and was very unimpressed as to how they showed farming as a legit business with no mention of health issues etc.

29th January 2010, 03:40 PM
Just clicked your link but it said its expired- is there any other way to find it?
Hi Karen, I have just checked it and it is working fine for me. I wonder is it that you don't live in Rep of Ireland the reason why its coming up 'expired'- for example we can't access the BBC i-player here.

29th January 2010, 09:13 PM
Sigh. Yes that sounds pretty much par for the course. My great hope is that many of these cretins will get out of their dirty little 'business' when the new legislation comes in, which looks to be within the next 4 weeks, according to a radio interview recently with the minister.

I wonder if things will really change!

31st January 2010, 10:43 PM
Well, Sheila Atter has a good column on the subject in Dogworld. It points out the hypocrisy of the Kennel Club continuing to register puppy farmed dogs while decrying the evil of puppy farms. She quotes an anti puppy farm group whose analysis is spot on.

Puppy Love is an anti puppy farm group that works tirelessly to bring awareness of the horror of commercialised puppy breeding to public notice. They have issued a statement in response to the Bateson review. The group has made it clear they believe the Kennel Club has hijacked the anti puppy-farming message in an attempt to deflect attention from its own negative public image. Puppy Love points out that the KC continues to accept money from those same puppy farmers they seek to condemn publicly.

They write: “We are concerned that yet again puppy farming will be forgotten while the pedigree dog scandal is dealt with. The KC is now trying to lead the campaign against this cruel trade but at the same time it continues to profit from puppy farm misery by registering puppy farm bred puppies. Hypocritical? Indeed it is. The KC tells us ‘as the secretariat and instigator of the puppy farming study group, which comprises representatives of the KC, animal welfare organisations across the whole of the UK, LACORS and government, the KC is at the forefront of moves to try to end the complex and obscure world of puppy farming.’ In that case it should explain just how much success it has had and how much longer we have to wait for it to get the situation under control.”

Full story: http://www.dogworld.co.uk/Features/04-atter?year=2010&month=01

If organisations such as the KC and individual clubs and members truly feel that puppy farming is the issue they claim, then why not rally to do something constructive? As this column goes on to point out, 'bring them into the fold' by offering registration has done nothing to improve the situation. Tying health testing to registration would -- because puppy farms won't put the money into health testing nor will BYBs. Nor will the type of 'legit' breeder that is noted in the initial link. Getting those people out of breeding would benefit buyers, clubs and breeds.

Kate H
31st January 2010, 11:18 PM
KC registration depends on the honesty of the person doing the registering. For example, an average Cavalier litter is probably 5 or 6, or less; 8 is unusual. Yet the registration lists are full of litters of 8 registered by the same person (several people are involved). What they do is not register puppies produced by an older bitch mated twice a year. Instead they farm out her puppies between other litters, bringing them up to 8. So (a) they get round the KC rules on age and number of litters, and (b) anyone buying the puppies is getting a completely fictitious pedigree, even if the pups are KC registered. But very difficult to prove which puppies are produced by which bitch, if all the litters are born within a few days of each other, which is probably done deliberately.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

31st January 2010, 11:31 PM
Yes I've heard that too. :(

One reason why the KC should do what the IKC has done and require microchipping of every puppy for registration. This means many then sell non-registered dogs but they get less money and many people got out of breeding as well.

But sadly most buyers don't really look at a pedigree except as something nice to hang on a wall -- if they got the pup from a crap breeder to start with they probably won't have known to check out the breeder, ask for health certs etc and certainly won't be that pushed about the pedigree except as having some meaning it often does not have. I cannot count the times that people who ring me to rehome their dogs for rescue make a point that they have the papers and can give them to me -- as if this matters -- and the pedigree is always full of names like 'Little Lass' and 'Rocky' -- not too likely to be the best cavalier specimens.