Puppy farming

Puppy farmers have been described as 'intensive volume breeders who have little regard or consideration for the basic needs and care for the dogs concerned'. Here we detail our stance on the practice of puppy farming and what needs to be done to end it.

The issues with puppy farming

There are a number of typical features that are found of those who irresponsibly farm and sell puppies on mass, including:

  • Separating puppies from their mothers too early
  • Hiding their real activities from enforcement, welfare organisations and puppy buyers
  • Forcing mothers into breeding again too quickly
  • Saving money by spending nothing on the areas in which animals are kept
  • Depriving animals of light, warmth, food, company, exercise and medication
  • Failing to socialise the puppies so they are safe around people and other dogs
  • Failing to respect the developmental needs of particular breeds
  • Avoiding the necessary vaccinations or veterinary care that puppies and their mothers need
  • Selling puppies at 'neutral' locations, which may look professional, instead of the cruel conditions in which puppies are bred.

Profits over welfare

Battersea is completely opposed to any form of breeding which places profit ahead of the welfare of animals, and strongly condemns the practice of puppy farming.

Puppy farming puts profit ahead of basic animal welfare, encourages impulse purchasing, and usually involves the early separation of puppies from their mothers which can cause them to suffer lifelong health and welfare problems as a result of such early mistreatment.

We believe all breeders should be compelled to conform to basic welfare standards irrespective of number of litters, and that all breeding operations which do not demonstrate a full and frank commitment to the five freedoms of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 should be closed down.

End to backstreet breeding

In 2015 we launched our End Backstreet Breeding campaign to push for reform of the dog breeding. Through the campaign, we support a reduction in the number of litters which can be bred each year before a licence is required, as this will bring more breeders into scope of licensing. We believe everyone who produces more than one litter in a year should require a licence, so that they can be inspected and regulated.

We would like everyone who produces a litter to have to register with their Local Authority, who will then know just who is breeding animals and selling them in their area.

We have called for the loopholes that allow the movement of dogs under 8 weeks from their mother to be closed, so all puppies can get this vital time with their mother at the start of their lives.

Our work with Government

Find out about our work with Government and key decision makers to influence changes to the law

Our policies


Help us be here for every dog and cat.

£5 a month would help pay for the care needed by some of our dogs and cats.

£8 a month could pay for all the care our hand-reared puppies and kittens need.

£12 a month would give frightened dogs and cats the care and treatment they need to recover.

£20 a month would give sick cats and dogs round-the-clock nursing care.

£10 can buy a scratching post for one of the thousands of cats we care for each year

£25 would pay for a cat or dog to be microchipped

£50 would keep one abandoned animal safe, warm and well

£100 can buy beds, bowls, toys and treats to give comfort to five dogs in our care.