AS an animal lover, I am sickened by the practice of puppy farming and trafficking.

Those wanting to provide a loving, forever home for a dog should always do so through rescue centres or from a reputable breeder, where you physically see the puppy with its mother.

Those making money out of this cruel but lucrative trade of puppy farming and trafficking care little or nothing for the health and welfare of the animals.

They are happy to “pass off ” pups as coming from loving surroundings. The truth is often very different and horrifying.

The Covid lockdown saw a huge rise in people buying puppies. This was a boom time for these vile traders.

Too often puppies’ lives were lost, vet’s bills ran up and human hearts were broken as the reality of in-breeding, lack of vaccinations and the often dreadful conditions in which these pups were bred took their toll.

While I am certainly no fan of the Conservative Party, I did applaud them, and my own party for listening to responsible animal groups and public opinion by including a commitment to new laws to crack down on puppy farming and trafficking.

That Bill would also have banned the sickening trade in the live export of farmed animals, imposed greater penalties for irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs attack sheep and the owning of primates as pets.

This Bill would have had all Party support in Parliament and sailed into law.

So, it is a disgrace that the Conservative Government has walked back on its election Manifesto promise and dropped the Kept Animals Bill.

It looks like this much-needed new law will have to await a General Election and a change of Government.

Animals have no voice or vote. It is up to all of us who care about them to remember this betrayal when we weigh up who to vote for.

Dr Brian Mathew Wiltshire Councillor for Box & Colerne