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Puppy Farming in the UK

We are a nation devoted to our canine friends. However, some people take advantage of our love of dogs by exploiting them for financial gain.

Millions of pounds of often untaxed revenue are generated from puppy farming.

Sadly, criminals and those ignorant of dog breeding laws and animal welfare continue to exploit dogs and the dog-loving public.

Just take a look on social media selling sites and see how many puppy sellers don’t have a licence! To the trained eye, puppy farmers are also evident – often with multiple litters for sale. Some sellers are more deceitful with fake identities and even throwaway ‘burner’ mobile phones!

The terrible numbers show that up to 400,000 farmed puppies are sold to the British public every year.

These poor puppies have been exposed to disease and discomfort in basic breeding sheds. None have known love and care in a family home. As for the unsold puppies and exhausted breeding dogs, we may never learn the full scale of the brutality. Tiny puppies are even illegally smuggled into the UK for onward sale.

However, the great news is that significant efforts are in train to stamp out puppy farming! And there are also many ways you can help.

Thanks to YOUR support and campaigners across the country, UK Governments have listened, and they are taking real action to improve the lives of so many innocent dogs and cats.

YOUR support for Naturewatch Foundation has helped change animal welfare law…

  • Sales of puppies and kittens under eight weeks old BANNED!
  • Number of litters REDUCED! Now, anyone breeding three or more litters a year requires a breeding licence (down from five).
  • Commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens in England BANNED.
  • Online pet sales to include licensed seller’s licence number, country of origin and country of residence of the pet REGULATED!

However, cruel breeders will STILL find ways around the law to boost their profits and more must be done.

The demand for puppies is huge. It has been reported that puppy smuggling gangs can make up to £35,000 per week from illegally transporting puppies to be sold to unsuspecting families in the UK. These criminals feed off current marketing crazes for designer dogs with no consideration of the welfare of the puppy or their parents.

Sadly, the awful 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has fuelled the demand for puppies and filled the pockets of puppy farmers.

Naturewatch Foundation continues to urge governments to deliver effective puppy farming public information campaigns to accompany welcome changes in dog breeding and selling laws.

Too many people just don’t know about puppy farming and are easily conned by experienced puppy peddlers.It is vitally important that a ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens is introduced across the UK.

Illegal internet sales and unlicensed puppy farming must be stamped out. Naturewatch Foundation want to see a national database of registered dog breeders across the UK, as well as measures to increase the age of puppies (to 26 weeks) allowed to be imported into the UK for sale.



Please donate whatever you can and help us end the intensive farming of dogs.  Your kind donation will help us stop the cruelty and exploitation of battery-bred dogs and their puppies. 

Read more:

The heart of the issue - How the puppy farming industry operates in the UK today

Harry’s story: from puppy farm to a loving home

How to spot a puppy farmer