The BVA is urging the government and pet owners to take action following a BBC Watchdog film which exposed shocking animal welfare standards at a puppy farm in Bradford.
The organisation is calling on Government and enforcement agencies to take the necessary measures to enforce legislation and protect animal welfare standards in dog breeding and trading establishments across the UK.
BVA President Sean Wensley said: “The neglect of the puppies shown in BBC Watchdog is unacceptable, with the breeders prioritising profit over animal welfare. The Government and enforcement agencies must employ all measures to ensure breeding establishments comply with the Animal Welfare Acts and pet breeding legislation.
"Pet owners should always consider how a puppy has been reared and cared for before buying, and use the Animal Welfare Foundation/RSPCA Puppy Contract to help them. If a seller is not willing to provide information, this should be considered a red-flag and you should walk away.”
Broadcast last Thursday (8 October), the BBC Watchdog report exposed the work of puppy farmers John Wilcock and Bernadette Nunny who had been selling sick and dying dogs for profit from their farm in West Yorkshire.
Presenter Matt Allwright and the Rogue Traders team replied to an online advert selling Shih Tzu X Bichon Frise puppies and arranged for an undercover buyer to meet the seller and the dogs. They were able to buy a puppy for £275, no questions asked, and were not supplied with any paperwork.
The little dog, later named Gizmo, was checked over by a vet and found to be seriously unwell. Not only did he have parasites, but he was malnourished, significantly older than the buyer was told and was incredibly under socialised - most likely from a life in confinement.
Even more worryingly, the buyer was told by the sellers that the puppy would be good with children. However, the vet strongly disagreed, saying that Gizmo was already showing strong signs of aggression and shouldn't be placed in an environment with kids.
In response to the report, the BVA has put together a list of top tips for anyone thinking about buying a puppy. They urge prospective buyers not to buy a puppy from anyone else but the breeder, and to always ask to see the puppy with its mother and any litter mates.
The guidelines also stress that prospective owners much ask to see the puppy's health records, including records of vaccination, worming and flea treatment, as well as any other veterinary treatment.
To view the BBC Watchdog film, visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06h7jlg/watchdog-series-36-episode-1. The puppy farm is featured at 15; 30 and 50 minutes in.