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Council gives licence back to pet store

Issue: 06/04/2018

Controversial decision questioned

A new campaign has been set up to stop a pet store from selling puppies that had its licence revoked only last year.
Last September Wokingham Council revoked the licence to sell puppies from Linton Pet Store in Hare Hatch near Reading. This meant that from October 4th 2017 the shop would no longer be able to sell any dogs.
The council has now agreed to give the licence back to the controversial store, which has been at the centre of a long running battle over its licence to sell puppies for a number of years.
Back in January 2016, OUR DOGS highlighted the campaign as people were concerned that a number of French Bulldogs had been imported to the shop from Malta. Other campaigners alleged that they had documentary evidence that a number of puppies had been bred by notorious Irish breeder Eric Hale, and that the shop had sourced dogs from puppy farms in Wales.
The store has previously denied this and insisted it maintains safe standards and adheres to all the conditions of its puppy licence.
Campaigners reacted with anger at the decision. The Say No To Pet Shop Pups Facebook page posted, 'Happy Easter from Wokingham Borough Council - who are proud to enable, for your vet-visiting pleasure, the sale of puppy-farmed & other low-welfare-bred puppies from puppy-dealers Linton Pets!
'How lucky do we all feel..?! Spare us the claims that you had no choice - you had all the evidence you needed, to keep the ban on puppy sales. Someone/s needs to lose their job for this...'

Disgusting

Another poster wrote, 'Just been into Linton pet shop and they have got 8 pug puppies (3 in one pen and 5 in the other) and 4 cockachon puppies in another pen. Puppy farming is disgusting and I'm sure if people knew where the pups where coming from they wouldn't buy them. #lucyslaw'
One campaigner has alleged that Wokingham Borough Council removed the advice to 'Never buy from a dealer or pet shop' from their website to suit their interests.
Puppy Petition tweeted, '@WokinghamBC - I hope you're feeling very proud to have given Linton their licence to sell puppies back. Obviously no thought was given to the poor puppies. This is legalised animal cruelty and you should feel ashamed.'
Over the years the battle between the campaigners and the store has led to injunctions and alleged threatening behaviour. The owner of the store has in the past said that they were threatened by people who supported the ban.
Frequently campaigners pitched up outside the shop to make their point but at the height of their campaign they were issued with an injunction that restricted the hours that they were allowed to protest outside the shop. 
This did not stop them making their feelings known about the store whatever the weather. One poster on twitter is happy to do it all again tweeting, 'Back to the drawing board with a vengeance!'

Inspection

Josie Wragg, Director of Localities and Customer Services for Wokingham Borough Council said, 'Following inspection on 5 January 2018, Linton Pet Shop has been reissued with its licence to sell animals, including puppies, until 31 December 2018.
'To obtain all licences, applicants must meet conditions, as set by central government in the Pet Animals Act 1951 and we will be monitoring adherence to these carefully as is the case with all licences of this nature.
'If we receive an application that meets requirements set out in the legislation then we are required by law to issue a licence. Licensing officers could find no lawful reason to refuse the licence on this occasion.
'It is really important to emphasise that the Council would have no grounds to refuse a licence if the application is sound and the requirements of any prevailing legislation or approved licence conditions are met.
'If residents are unhappy with current legislation, it would be worth them registering their views with their Member of Parliament; this is particularly timely for this piece of legislation as parliament is currently undergoing a general review of legislation surrounding the sale of puppies.'
Recently the government announced that it is to consider a ban on third party sales. A consultation has been launched and the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is, 'seeking evidence on what the effects of introducing a ban on third party sales of pets in England would be.'
Lucy's Law would ban the sale of puppies from pet shops in order to deny a ready supply chain for the sale of puppy farmed and imported puppies in the UK.
We approached Linton Pet Store for a comment but did not receive a reply.
To sign the petition go to - https://bit.ly/2Gxsr2y.


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