Appeals to the public not to buy puppies from puppy farmers and back street breeders are useless. The “click and collect” mentality has permitted the canine supply chain as attested by the increase in dog ownership over lockdown .
There is a genuine problem in the dog breeding world as many legitimate breeders are ageing or cannot afford to just break even by selling surplus dogs at little ore than cost. This can only get worse as the cost of feed, utilities and transport rockets.
However, something needs to be done as poorly bred and ill-socialised dogs become a social problem as well as a welfare one.
It seems that the HMRC may provide the solution (in addition perhaps to Brexit making the illegal import of dogs harder).
HMRC have launched a hotline for anonymous reporting of illegal breeding and other canine and feline-related activities.
It may well prove that being hit in the pocket is the ultimate solution.