Puppy farms face their end in Wales as a new animal welfare regulation is introduced

The Animal Welfare Regulations 2021 come into force on the 27th January 2021, meaning the end of puppy farms in Wales.

People’s demand of puppies soar during the pandemic (photo provided by Huibing Zhan)

People can no longer buy puppies from puppy farms since the Welsh government introduced a ban on the commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens.

Charities like Friends of Animals Wales and Care And Respect Includes All Dogs have been calling for a ban on commercial third part sale of pets through the campaign #lucyslaw4Wales for a decade.

The campaign is named after a spaniel called Lucy who was used for breeding on a puppy farm in South Wales and rescued in 2013.

“There has been so much amazing support from Welsh MS regardless of their politics. “said Eileen Jones, Founder & Rescue Coordinator of Friends of Animals Wales.

“So many have campaigned with us and given their backing yet in sheds and barns all over Wales thousands of dogs and their puppies are living in hell. The public still sold sick pups for money”

Pets rescued by Friends of Animals Wales

Marc Abraham, the author of the book Lucy’s Law, said: “This breeding facility has very few, if any, significant windows to let in any light, so almost pitch darkness is the norm, as is the smell.”

The regulations are follow-up actions of a law brought out last year, which bans pet shops to sell puppies they have not bred themselves.

Lucy becomes an icon of the campaign

Animals prisoned in sheds and bans for a long time suffer not only physically but also mentally.

“Sometimes the phycological damage done to ex breeding survivors is profound and their rehabilitation takes months or maybe years.” said Eileen Jones.

Zoe has taken months to get to the point she can be touched.

“Optimising welfare standards across Wales is a priority and the intention of the new Regulations is to promote responsible breeding and ensure puppies and kittens are bred in suitable conditions.” the statement said.

Driven by high profit, the sellers may sell puppies and kittens that are too sick or too young to be separated from their mothers, and then make them live in very poor conditions.

The demand of puppies and kittens soared during the pandemic. According to research done by the Kennel Club, one in four pandemic puppy owners say they might inadvertently have bought their pet from a puppy mill.

“The current pandemic has seen puppy sales go through the roof with unscrupulous puppy pedlars selling sickly puppies for exorbitant amount.” said the Friends of Animals Wales.

Puppies living in such conditions are at high risk of getting parvovirus and canine distemper. Once infected, puppies under 8 weeks old are less likely to survive.

A mother dog gets serious illnesses in a puppy farm

“A dog is for life, not just for lockdown,” is the Dogs Trust’s motto. “It’s concerning that people may give up their pandemic puppies after life returns to normal.”