Celebrity vet Marc Abraham has alleged that some of Britain's most recognisable dog charities appear to be abetting the puppy farming trade by opposing a ban on third-party dog vendors - i.e. anyone selling pups away from their mum.
Marc appeared on James Whale's show this morning to discuss the perils of the puppy trade. Although the trade is legal, Marc suggested that no reasonable and responsible dog breeder would choose to breed puppies for Christmas, given the amount of dangers young dogs can face during the festive period - such as baubles, raisins and clumsy children.
Our interviewee suggested that the “real villains” in puppy farming aren't the Kennel Club (who support a ban on third-party sellers) as suggested by James, but instead appear to be the “four big charities” - Blue Cross, the Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and the RSPCA. He claimed these organisations are lobbying the Government to not support a ban on third-party sellers such as pet shops and dealers, and alleged that they have done a U-turn since supporting his 2014 e-petition to ban puppies sold in pet shops and other third parties.
He claimed he has proof that they are pushing Defra not to introduce the ban, citing new evidence that has come to light this week and which he said he will soon make public.
Marc says these charities “appear so tied in with the pet industry – I’m talking pets at home, big pet food companies” and such companies do not want a ban on third-party puppy sellers as it could lead to a “slippery slope” which might eventually prevent them from selling pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs.
talkRADIO contacted each of the four charities cited by Marc, and all of them refuted his allegations.
The RSPCA said it "works on the frontline tackling the puppy trade", adding that “We are actively arguing for the eradication of third party sales, either through a direct ban or through a rigorous licensing system that makes them illegal.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said a ban on third-party vendors "should be considered" but says "there are multiple obstacles that would need to be overcome for it to achieve its objectives, not least of which is the issue of resource for competent and consistent enforcement."
The Dogs Trust said it "would ideally want to see a world where third-party sales were not happening but we do not believe that it is in the best interests of animal welfare to rush into a ban as a knee-jerk response to the huge numbers of illegally imported and so-called puppy farmed dogs for sale in the UK." Blue Cross expressed a similar sentiment, sayinhg "a ban on the third party sales of puppies... will not solve the issue of poor welfare standards in puppy breeding."