Richmond, B.C. has become the first city in Canada to pass a ban on the sale of puppies from local pet stores, CTV British Columbia reports.
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) breeders are already prohibited from selling to pet stores due to the club's code of ethics, but Richmond city councillor, Ken Johnston, who initially proposed the ban, said the newly drafted bylaw amendment will also help stop pet stores from purchasing puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills.
The Richmond Animal Protection Society, which runs the city's shelter, says that more than half of the dogs it found homes for in 2007 and 2008 were purebred – with more than 25 per cent of them being less than a year old.
Last week, B.C. SPCA officials seized 14 badly neglected dogs from an Abbotsford breeding facility.
Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations, told ctvbc.ca, "Unfortunately there is currently little to stop unscrupulous breeders from exploiting animals for profit when they can sell their puppies through local pet stores, classified ads and online sites. If people could see first-hand the sickening conditions these animals are forced to endure they would be appalled."
According to Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt, the new amendment will be brought back to council for a reading next week before undergoing a series of public consultations. If everything goes as planned, pet store owners will have until April 2011 to sell or remove dogs from their storefronts.
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