Wokingham Today

Campaigner­s’ anger over puppy licence

- By JAMES HASTINGS news@wokinghamp­aper.co.uk

CAMPAIGNER­S have stepped up pressure on the Linton Pet Shop after it was given a new licence to sell animals including puppies.

Wokingham Borough Council said its officers “could find no lawful reason” to refuse the Bath Road store a licence, which runs until the end of December.

However, furious opponents have described the decision as “atrocious” and “a catastroph­ic failure in their duty of care to residents and other customers.”

They claim puppies are being “peddled around the country like fake watches, while their breeding parents are imprisoned in squalor, in barns and sheds around the UK.”

A statement on the petition page claims: “A puppy bought from Linton Pet Store that became ill after purchase was traced back to a puppy farm in Wales. A FOI request has showed that puppies have also been imported from Malta.

“Puppy farm puppies are often removed from mum at five weeks old and can be left alone in the pet shop for hours. They often suffer physically and mentally.

“The puppies might be looked after while in the shop, however mum is in the background suffering every day and being bred from over and over again.

“Following a debate in Parliament in 2014, councils have the power to make the decision whether to issue a licence for pet shops to sell puppies.

“We believe that the concerns regarding the source of the puppies should result in a licence NOT being issued. We therefore plead with Wokingham Council to listen to the people.”

However, Josie Wragg, director of localities and customer services at Wokingham Borough Council, said the Linton Pet Shop has met the conditions set by central government.

“If we receive an applicatio­n that meets requiremen­ts set out in the legislatio­n then we are required by law to issue a licence. Licensing officers could find no lawful reason to refuse the licence on this occasion.

“It is really important to emphasise that the Council would have no grounds to refuse a licence if the applicatio­n is sound and the requiremen­ts of any prevailing legislatio­n or approved licence conditions are met.

“If residents are unhappy with current legislatio­n, it would be worth them registerin­g their views with their MP; this is particular­ly timely for this piece of legislatio­n as parliament is currently undergoing a general review of legislatio­n surroundin­g the sale of puppies.”

A statement on the Linton Pet Shop website says: “Since we took over Linton Pets, we have had a lot of negative and misdirecte­d abuse. We take great pride in our services and the quality of both our products and welfare of our animals.

“We are proud of our customer base with 90% of our business from return customers.”

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