“Puppy farms” represent a major target of the animal welfare activists. Puppy production became one of the most lucrative activities in many post-communist countries. Dog and cat farms, professional breeders and traders in pet commerce flourished in those countries. The Czech Republic is one of the stronger of the sector. In many cases trade of young animals was associative with illicit trade practices.

Now the Czech government proposes an amendment, the so-called Act on the Protection of Animals against Cruelty, which aims to protect pets and to eliminate cruelty in the pet market.

According to the draft amendment which was approved by the government on Monday, inhumane conditions in the pet trade will be banned.

Tough fines (of approximately 20,000 euros) are provided for those threatening the “physiological, biological or ethological needs” of the animals Radio Prague reports.

In addition the draft amendment sets sever rules on the breeding of wild animals.

However the government’s proposal provoked skepticism among animal welfare activists.

The sector suffers from endemic corruption and often pedigrees and health records are counterfeit while it seems difficult to accurately control the illicit trade towards third countries.

“It can truly amount to cruelty to animals. They’re crowded into cages in horrible conditions. Of course, there’s no veterinary care when the breeder only cares about maximising profits. The dogs are covered in excrement because they are not let out. It might even be years before they are sold and they’ve never seen grass,” told Radio Prague Tereza Plicka, who is a co-founder of the non-profit whistle-blower group Hlas zvířat (A Voice for Animals).