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Campaigners welcome top store climbdown

ANIMAL WELFARE campaigners have welcomed the decision by top department store Harrods to refuse to buy dogs from a Welsh puppy farm, following a TV expose.

As reported in OUR DOGS last week, Harrods chiefs were left red-faced after an undercover BBC investigation revealed that the store was using a West Wales puppy farm to stock its pet shop.

The investigation – screened on the BBC’s 6 o’clock news revealed that the farm near Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion had been breeding puppies without a licence to do so

Under the Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act 1999, a breeding licence is required for anyone breeding five or more litters a year for sale. Before the licence can be granted, a veterinary surgeon and a local authority officer must inspect the premises.

Chief executive of the Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin, said: "Dogs Trust has been campaigning for many years to put an end to the appalling and inhumane practice of puppy farming.

"Sadly, the puppy farm shown is just one of many across the country. As this case highlights, puppy farms mean man's best friend is often treated merely as a breeding machine."

Since the BBC investigation, Ceredigion council has issued the farm with a licence to breed and sell dogs. Dogs Trust have written to the council to find out how the licence was so easily issued when the film showed that conditions at the puppy farm were so obviously sub-standard. The council have yet to respond.

Anti-puppy farm organisation WAG expressed delight at the change of direction by Harrods, who have now cancelled Windy Rise’s contract to supply them with puppies.

However, Ken McKie told OUR DOGS that having been given an idea of the content of footage it was disappointing that this was not broadcast in full by the BBC.

"This would have shown the rich, the famous and the public how the puppies they bought at Harrods had been bred," said Mr McKie. "Sad to say, but it could mean that some of the puppies bought by the said people might in fact not be the fashion accessory they sought but in fact it could easily be that they have a crossbred dog, they have been sold a pup literally.

WAG has constantly tried to alert the public to the issues of these puppies and their origins but yet they still go and buy puppy farm bred dogs. It is long overdue that this vile trade is brought down and real, effective and enforced legislation be brought in."