Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
Say NO to puppy farms

I am absolutely shocked to see that the Welsh Assembly is to assist farmers to become 'puppy farmers'. What are they thinking of? Have the Members of the Assembly never seen or heard reports of dogs being thrown out (sometimes literally) by their owners who have just 'grown tired' of them.

Sadly, we live in a throw away society. The situation is bad enough already without exacerbating it still further. Let's take a look at the farmer, to make good profit he will have to have several breeding bitches (he's not going to breed an occasional litter). These bitches, because the farmer has a trading business will be expected to 'earn their keep' by continuously producing puppies every time they come into season. Poor things, there will be no break for them from an intensive breeding programme.

How long will the said farmer expect to keep the puppies he has bred? Will he keep them for the recommended eight weeks? If anything does not sell, what will he propose to do with it?

I shudder to think! And what about socialisation? This is a very important part of rearing puppies ready for the outside world. Many will be sold to families and much will be expected of them by their new owners - will the homes be vetted by anyone? I doubt it. The unsocialised puppy going to a new home will not  even begin to know what has happened to it, no mother and no siblings.

Rearing puppies properly is a caring and time consuming pastime, and when they are ready to leave the nest, they should have been well prepared by their breeder. Will the commercially minded farmer have that sort of time? I don't think so. Will he be prepared to take a puppy back, for whatever reason? No, of course not!

What then happens to the puppy he has bred? In Wales, it will most probably end up in a 'Pound'. I live in Surrey, and not too far away from where I live there is a Rescue Centre where they rescue dogs from the Pounds in Wales on a regular basis. This should not be necessary, but it is. Come on Welsh Assembly, think and think again before making your decision final. Ask each member of the Assembly," Where did you get your dog from?" Some of them may have rescued a dog from a 'Pound', but even if they all did, there would still be many, many dogs left in a very sad situation.

Jean M Loughborough
(readers could do much worse than use this letter as a template for any similar representation to Welsh Assembly members Ed.)