Puppy farming continues to be a serious issue, and the more publicity that’s given to the topic, the better. So it was refreshing to see a group of celebrities offering their support to this important subject.

Celebrity support for animal causes is important and valuable

George Michael, Graham Norton, Morrissey, Joanna Lumley, Miranda Richardson, Twiggy, Rick Wakeman and other celebrities wrote a letter to the Times last week, urging the government to give local authorities new power and resources to regulate breeders and sellers. Their letter referred to a recent Blue Cross report which “showed that overstretched local authorities lack the expertise and resources to pick up on horrific welfare issues in pet shops and breeding premises, while unscrupulous online sellers slip under the radar entirely”.

The letter went on to say that the Blue Cross report’s findings included “pet shops not being inspected for two years, maggots in animals’ drinking water and puppies having no access to daylight.”

The letter went on to state that despite U.K. local government authorities having the power to investigate unlicensed breeders and sellers, according to government figures obtained by the charity, no checks were carried out by almost half of U.K. councils last year.

A government committee has just called for better regulation of dog breeding, but where’s the money to do this?

The letter from the celebrities comes at an opportune time, just weeks after a House of Commons committee recommended that pet shops should be banned from selling puppies, and that.anyone breeding any puppies at all should be registered with their local authority. The Blue Cross supports this recommendation, calling for all breeders and sellers to be required to register on an easily accessible database to make it easier for local authorities to enforce the rules.


The main point that the celebrities make, and it’s a good one, is that while it’s easy for government to recommend that local authorities take certain actions, if this isn’t backed up with the provision of appropriate resources, it just isn’t going to happen.

It takes money to set up databases, inspectors need to be paid to investigate pet shops and funds are needed to take prosecutions when the law is breached. While it’s positive that a government committee has made recommendations to improve the breeding and selling of dogs, words are easy. If the monetary aspects of serious problems like this are not addressed, nothing is likely to change.

Well said George Michael! I’m so impressed that I’ll even be able to listen to Wham’s “Last Christmas” without feeling exasperated this year!