|This Welsh puppy farm registers its puppies with the KC ©Puppy Love|
Not that the KC news release actually says this as the KC doesn't like to admit that it registers puppy-farm dogs.
In fact, the KC seeks to distance itself from puppy-farming in this announcement by saying: “Of course, this decision will sadly not impact on those people who do not register their litters with the Kennel Club, in particular puppy farmers who breed purely for profit and tend to show little consideration for an animal’s welfare. Legislation needs to be tightened so that these people can be brought to account.”
But the KC itself needs to tighten up on this issue.
Here's what Ronnie, from campaign group Puppy Love, has to say.
""Limiting litters from individual bitches is a step in the right direction," says Ronnie. "But you've got to bear in mind that some puppy farmers who register their pups with the KC have 100 bitches or more. This move won't effect them at all. We would like the Kennel Club to not register puppies from any breeder that has more than four of five breeding bitches because keeping any more than that is so open to abuse."
As it happens, I think it's possible to keep one or two more bitches than this and breed responsibly. But it irritates that the KC continues to publicly tut-tut about puppy farms while taking money from puppy-farmers by registering their puppies.
What else could they do? How about that any breeder/kennel that registers more than five litters a year should be subject to a KC inspection?
Anyone currently producing five or more litters a year should be visited and licensed by their local authority but licensing departments are often understaffed and underfunded so the checks aren't done. The KC does not have a system for alerting local authorities when a breeder registers five or more litters a year (even though it has the data and even though the breeders are breaking the law if they are unlicensed) and so high-volume breeders slip through the net that way, too.
At the moment, only breeders signed up to the KC's Accredited Breeder Scheme (ABS) are visited by the KC (and even then not all of them).
Inspecting higher-volume breeders on the KC's general register is surely feasible? Given an average of, what, 4 pups a litter, at £12 each for registration - that's £240 the KC takes for registering five litters. Surely that's enough to cover the cost of a visit? After all, the KC has recently appointed a number of area reps to do inspections of Accredited Breeders and the KC doesn't pay them - it only covers expenses.