Sadly last week I was forwarded an email from an animal loving MP. This email is not only one of the most disturbing emails regarding UK animal welfare I have ever read (and I get sent a lot), but its ramifications are not only shocking, but potentially unbelievably destructive to the lives of this country’s cats & dogs; and I’ll tell you why.
The Pet industry Federation (PIF) who describe themselves as ‘the membership association for pet industry specialists in the UK’ are actually telling MPs to vote ‘NO’ to a ban of puppies & kittens in pet shops ahead of this Thursday’s Commons debate. That’s right ‘NO’.
This disgusting move means PIF are disagreeing with professional advice – to always see puppy or kitten with mother – given by RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Kennel Club, Wood Green, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Mayhew, Dog Advisory Council, even the government’s own website; as well as huge public support (over 110,000 who signed PupAid’s e-petition).
We all know that keeping puppies & kittens in glass boxes, unattended at night, and allowed to pee/poo where they stand/sit (as opposed to toilet training) during the most important few weeks of their lives is the worst preparation ever to become a well adjusted socialised family pet; not to mention the conditions their mothers are imprisoned in on puppy farms, the stress and disease spread associated with transportation to pet shop, as well as the all too common future of painful ill health (medical, surgical, behavioural or commonly all of the above), or at worse premature death/euthanasia.
It’s common knowledge that puppies sold in pet shops fuels and encourages irresponsible breeding, i.e. the puppy farm trade; no responsible breeder would ever sell their pups or kittens to a third party to sell on especially to this most impulsive way of purchasing a puppy or kitten. Banning puppies & kittens being sold in pet shops won’t stop puppy farming full stop, but it will be the first significant progress by removing the most impulsive point of sale of these sick pets making prospective puppy buyers look elsewhere and raising awareness of responsible breeding and considering rescue.
We’re all aware (and most of us horrified/saddened) of the thousands of healthy rescue pets awaiting loving forever homes, so by PIF blatantly ignoring the plight of these desperately unlucky animals makes their email to MPs even sadder to read for all animal lovers.
We can only assume that PIF want to keep their many pet shop members, already selling puppies & kittens for profit in store, all happy – before any potential future ban on selling all animals in store e.g. rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils, fish, reptiles, etc is suggested.
Which is where Pets at Home come in. Traditionally a respected brand by pet owners, openly opposed to puppy farming, and never selling puppies & kittens for profit in store (adoptions are different); however surprisingly Pets at Home are actually agreeing with PIF, i.e. they’re opposing the ban on puppies and kittens sold in pet shops as well. Perhaps Pets at Home feel their ‘selling live pets in store’ marketing model will be under threat?
Clearly the PIF’s email to MPs and its information within now made public below (and please do not be fooled as it appears to come from their own sub-organisation ‘The Pet Charity’ so they appear to be hiding behind their charity’s brand – nice touch), but unsurprisingly not updated to either PIF or Pet Charity website, is therefore clearly not designed to reach their individual membership of ‘1500 businesses, mostly small, medium-sized enterprises ranging from pet retailers, dog groomers, kennels & catteries, manufacturers, wholesalers and professional services, which included colleges, publishers, dog walkers and pet sitters.’
Even on August 29th 2014 PIF removed their website’s own ‘Pet Services Locator’ (containing individual members’ email/telephone contacts), presumably so no one could contact individual members of their stance – wonder why?!
So all you amazing pet lovers, and especially members of PIF, who their homepage proudly states are (ironically) “Promoting excellence in the pet industry” please read the below information sent to MPs trying to stop a ban on puppies & kittens in pet shops. I also contacted Pets at Home directly on Friday and a spokesperson – who after promising he’d send me one – hours later refused and just said they agree with the below document.
Please post this link to your Facebook and Twitter encouraging others to share, add to forums, even email Nigel Baker CEO of PIF, call him on 01234 224509, comment on their FB (beware comments can be deleted), or tweet PIF directly @PetFedUK before it’s too late. And while you’re at it why not ask Pets at Home why they’re supporting PIF too email, on FB (but that can be deleted), or on Twitter @PetsAtHome I’m sure we’d all love to know.
Worth noting that Pet Industry Federation were once called Pet Care Trust and appear to have lost both their ‘care’ and ‘trust’. And Pets at Home, that is exactly where puppies & kittens should be found – at home and not in a shop.
Ladies & Gentlemen this could be one of the biggest weeks ever for UK animal welfare, at last a proper breakthrough in the fight against puppy farming. Let’s all do our best to stand together and make sure Pet Industry Federation or Pets At Home don’t ruin it with their dirty tricks. Thank you.