Puppy factories and the 7PM Project

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I enjoy the alternative take on the news provided by the 7PM Project. But sometimes the lack of depth really hurts a story.

Tonight they ‘investigated‘ puppy factories – the mass breeding of dogs for pet stores. This is not a new issue but is important. The report was superficial and did not provide any useful information to help consumers. But most annoying was the failure of the people interviewed to think past a knee jerk ‘someone’s go to do something’ reaction. We know how to help remove (if not fully solve) these problems. An accreditation regime (think organic produce, free-range eggs or the Heart Foundation tick). Many consumers want to support ethical breeding. If a body, such as the RSPCA, sets up an accreditation system for dog breeding standards, then this will provide consumers with the information they need. This does not require government action but it does require a body such as the RSPCA to think pro-actively about a market solution rather than just requesting more regulation.

4 Responses to "Puppy factories and the 7PM Project"
  1. It’s important that awareness of the problem is increased even if the story lacked depth or a solution. These horrible practices flourish simply because they are hidden from public view. It was not until the terrible conditions that factory farmed pigs and chicken were kept in, that any real progress was made in stamping out the problems.

  2. Stephen,
    I like your option. However, you will find a lot of people won’t support an accreditation scheme in this type of situation. While an accreditation scheme is acceptable to them for something like hotel quality, they want heavier handed options for saving puppies. An accreditation scheme would allow puppy farms to operate if they could find buyers, this is probably an unacceptable outcome to the RSPCA and may be why they are pushing for government regulation rather than an accreditation scheme.
    I think the solution proposed on the show and elsewhere of banning pet shops from selling puppies would actually be worse than no action. Banning pet shops from selling puppies and only allowing  people to buy them from private sellers seems strange. I can’t think of any other product that we would advocate be sold primarily by ‘back yard’ operators as a way of cracking down on shonky operations.

  3. An accreditation scheme might well do a lot of good here, but just as we don’t protect humans from violence exclusively with a ‘nice person’ accreditation scheme, there’s no reason why the government oughtn’t protect animals/children/mentally ill from bad treatment with full force of law.

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