In the news today here - this is a perfect illustration of how pups are actually wholesale commodities. Pups are born and raised for the first few weeks on Welsh puppy farms. Typically, a licensed puppy farm can have 70, 80 or 100+ bitches with a couple of staff. Most don't sell directly to the public. Instead, they sell to wholesalers (who in theory should be licensed). In this raid, French bulldogs, poms and West Highlands were found - other popular breeds include CKC, Shitzu, Poodles, all the doodle variants, and things like Cavochons. The wholesalers then run ads on popular internet sites. Mobile phones are used - cheap disposable phones which are changed regularly. Stock photos can be used - they don't date and most people can't tell the difference between an individual pup and a carefully posed cute shot.
Then the clever bit. "Front" families are used - nice clean house, maybe a couple of kids, oh yes, she's a family pet, etc etc. Front family has a very nice little cash incentive (useful cash income) and buyer goes away blissfully unaware of the trail of misery, death and disease they have bought into.
Please be under no illusions - puppy wholesaleing is a hugely profitable business. Those 87 pups today will have been worth at least £40K (this is a low estimate) - much of this tax free. Costs are low, likelihood of interference by HMRC/Councils v low, potential profit v high. Demand is high - despite the good intentions of all welfare campaigners and reputable breeders, there are still thousands out there who want puppies for Christmas.
Sadly, most of these pups are poorly socialised, and many have health problems. After a year, the Kennel Club's own research shows that at least 25% will no longer be with their families - given up when they stop being cute, start nipping and become stroppy teenagers that need training, attention and expensive health care. Lucky ones may end up in rescue. Unlucky ones will join the many thousands of pedigree dogs in pounds.
Please, if you are considering a dog, adopt first. If you really must have a puppy (and for most families there is no need) either get one from a rescue or from a REPUTABLE breeder (yes, there are some out there). If you go to a reputable breeder, you will have to wait, and the questioning will make most rescue homechecks look mild. Please, please, please DON'T buy a puppy for Christmas.
What's worrying even more now is that recent relaxations on dog travel mean that we are starting to see pups coming in at a very young age from Eastern and Central Europe. This will make the current welfare issues around puppy farming look like a walk in the park.
My dog came from a respectable breeder but when the vet asked about his background I could see his reaction when I said he was from Wales. There are good breeders in Wales and no doubt puppy farms elsewhere.
Moaning, if you require any assistance on next steps, please PM me. If you prefer, I or close associates can take this further for you, as we regularly do this.
There are several reasons for the prevalence of puppy farms in Wales. The Welsh Govt actually encouraged it as "rural diversification". Many Welsh politicians, both at Council level and at Welsh Govt level still think there is nothing wrong with it, and that it is a useful method of increasing farm incomes.
Put together this culture which turns a blind eye or encourages the worst excesses, plus easy access to markets via the M4, plus the growth of internet sales which means you don't have to be too close to the market. Add in the Welsh language, which acts as a very convenient figleaf/barrier to inconvenient outsiders asking too many questions, or getting jobs in local authorities. Most of the Welsh authorities that have the biggest puppy farming problems also have the strongest policies on only recruiting Welsh language speakers. The unintended consequence of this is that Council officers who are meant to enforce and police regulations are drawn from a tiny pool, and many are related to and live amongst the very farmers they are meant to be regulating. This affects planning issues as well. It means that there is no such thing for instance as a "random" inspection.
The final nail in the coffin is that Wales was genuinely hit hard by problems with farming e.g. BSE in beef etc and puppy farming offers a fantastically profitable alternative for farmers, for rural vets, and all those associated. I was actually in school with someone who acted as a front family for puppy sales and for a single mum on benefits this offered a relatively risk free and easy way of earning extra cash compared to the alternatives. While it is so financially attractive and easy, it will be v difficult to stamp out.