Unlicensed dog breeding widespread in UK, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home reveals

The shadowy world of backstreet breeding has been exposed by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home who revealed that fewer than 12% of puppies born in the UK each year are registered to licensed breeders.

Battersea’s report revealing that there is a discrepancy of nearly 32 times in the charges for breeding licences, suggesting variations in the way breeders are inspected and approved to sell puppies.

Battersea Chief Executive, Claire Horton said: “When you’re getting a new puppy, how can you be sure that you’re getting your dog from a responsible breeder when our own national breeding license system is such a mess?

Battersea puppy six weeks old
ADORABLE: One orphaned puppy who survived backstreet breeding

“The gaping hole in enforcement of breeding legislation leave the door wide open for backstreet breeders to own the market and pocket huge profits from over breeding, without a thought for the welfare of the animals in their care.”

Earlier this year Battersea launched its End Backstreet Breeding campaign in a bid to raise public awareness and tackle this practise.

Battersea wants to see a ban on the sale of puppies under eight weeks old and the introduction of a required breeding licence for any household producing two or more litters per year.

Marjorie, a two-year-old Bulldog, was rescued from the streets of London as a stray in late 2014.

Marjorie bulldog Battersea Dogs & Cats Home pic courtesy Andrew McGibbon
HARD LIFE: Marjorie was rescued in late 2014

Her body was sore and sagging and showing all the signs of overbreeding, including severely stretched teats.

After a lot of care and dedication from the Battersea staff Marjorie began to come out of her shell and revealed an affectionate nature and now, despite her miserable start in life, she will get a second chance to go to a caring, loving home she deserves.

As the six-month countdown to the new compulsory dog microchipping law approaches in April 2016, Claire Horton implored people to never purchase a puppy from the internet.

She said: “Battersea’s advice for anyone seeking a puppy is to never buy online – go to a rescue centre or reputable breeder, always see the puppy with its mum and make sure they’re both healthy and the puppy is at least eight weeks old.”

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