Responding to the news that Kent puppy farmers have been jailed for animal welfare offences, Sonul Badiani-Hamment, FOUR PAWS UK Country Director said:
'These jail sentences should send a strong message that the trade in selling sick and vulnerable dogs must stop. Every day, puppies across the UK are bred and sold by unlicensed and illegal breeders who knowingly sell puppies carrying potentially fatal diseases and keep them in conditions which contribute to their early deaths and the resulting heartbreak for their owners.
On March 15, the Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) Bill, will be debated in the House of Commons, and we expect it to receive strong cross-party support. While this Bill would not regulate UK breeders, it will regulate the trade by placing restrictions on the thousands of puppies being bred overseas that are transported into the UK. Its swift passage into law would serve as a strong reminder to our European counterparts and breeders, as well as to breeders here in the UK, that the mistreatment of animals in this way is unconscionable.
Animals are not commodities and schemes to print money - the illegal puppy trade, with its connections to wider criminal activity, needs tackling at every level. That’s why FOUR PAWS UK will always provide support and advice for individuals looking to buy, for local authorities who enforce licensing regulations, and for online selling platforms to ensure that together, we can end this cruel trade for good.
FOUR PAWS UK stands ready to work with parliamentarians across Westminster to ensure the Bill moves swiftly through Parliament and provides protection to animals as quickly as possible.’