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Programme acclaimed by dog lovers
Documentary on puppy farming gets thumbs up from breeders


ITV WALES recently broadcast a two-part documentary on puppy farms in Wales. This programme has been acclaimed by dog lovers as it shows just how puppy farms operate and are allowed to continue to operate.

Many dog owners and breeders have sad it is sad that such an informative programme will not be broadcast across the UK, unlike the Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme which they feel gave a boost to back-yard breeders and puppy farmers, with many adverts appearing on the internet selling puppies as ‘crossbred so not going to be unhealthy’ or ‘pedigree but not registered with the Kennel Club so will be healthy.’

In the first part of the film produced by production company 'Y BYD AR BEDWAR' the reporter Sian Morgan and her team visited a number of known puppy farmers and confronted them. Filming of a puppy sale in a car park was recorded although it stopped when the team approached. The buyer was in fact a member of the team, exposing that this practice still goes on, despite the advice of the RSPCA, the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club.

Sian Morgan and her team were seen filming at the protest organised by Lady Margaret Flack and supported by OUR DOGS, whose Managing Director Vince Hogan was on the picket line, and reported on the demonstration, the first of what is expected to be three demonstrations in total. The final one, to go ahead in the New Year, when it is planned to hand in a petition to 10 Downing Street.

Inspection

The programme makers contacted the councils in the areas which had been identified as having puppy farms but in each case the councils refused to comment in the first programme. In the second programme one council did say that they needed evidence to be collected and presented to them, yet it has to be questioned whether this would affect the relicensing of these establishments, since they do have to apply for a licence each year and part of this should include some form of inspection.

The second programme featured secret filming inside the puppy farms which were shown to a vet who was able to point out several things that, in her opinion, contravened the Animal Welfare Act. In the film taken from inside the puppy farms dogs were seen crowded into kennels too small for the number contained there, bitches in kennels with tiny pups on concrete floors and very little or no bedding or ways to keep the bitch and puppies comfortable and warm. In one farm the bitch and puppies where given beds but these had holes drilled into them and the vet was of the opinion that these beds would cause bed sores for the dogs. Most of the dogs shown were seen to be pacing round in tight circles and they had nothing to relieve their imprisonment, no proper lighting or any form of extensive exercise. The kennels were not clean and faeces littered the floors, food was then thrown onto the floor for the dogs to eat. The water provided was shown to be filthy and green with algae.

None of the puppy farmers featured in the films seemed to be perturbed that their businesses appeared to be involved some form of animal abuse, and neither did any of the councils appear to be concerned that this is happening in their districts. It would seem that puppy farmers are immune from prosecution under the Animal Welfare act as both councils and animal welfare organisations do not appear to want to act to stop this trade. Ms Morgan and her camera team were attacked by puppy farmers when standing on a public right of way filming, the police were called and the camera teams equipment was returned to them by the police. Enough of the film survived to show the lengths puppy farmers are prepared to go to continue their lucrative trade.

To illustrate just how far the puppies produced by the Welsh puppy farmers travel Ms Morgan visited a retail outlet in Essex called Puppies World. There her team secretly filmed the purchase and showed that the manager was claiming that the puppies were reared in good conditions as her local council, Dagnenham, had to inspect the kennels, who of course pointed out that they are not responsible for a breeding establishment out of their area. The puppy purchased was claimed by the manager to have been vet-checked and given a clean bill of health; however, when taken to the vet who had previously viewed the film footage of the farms, it was again her opinion that the puppy was very underweight and had worms on an initial examination.

Sian Morgan has promised to send tapes of her documentary to Our Dogs and keep us informed of any updates to the licensing of the puppy farms.

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Keep up the good work. This does not help the dogs or the new owners. We teach and read many things in the dog world. But back street breeding if not stopped will cause more problems.

Claire

Sian Morgan and her team produced an excellent documentary, highlighting the heinous puppy farm trade that continues to haunt Wales.
 
The films are available to view http://www.dogs-r-us.org/puppyfarms.shtml with English subtitles



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