Powys is bucking the trends in reports of illegal puppy breeding - but the number of cases remains shockingly high, figures show.

The figures come from a report by the RSPCA which found that in Powys the number of enquiries from concerned citizens dropped in 2021 – despite a 6.75 per cent rise in complaints across Wales.

The report was not all positive for Powys though, as it did find that the county saw the second highest number of enquiries in Wales over the last two years, after Carmarthenshire. There were 50 reports in Powys last year, and 61 in 2020.

The data released by RSPCA found that across Wales over the last two years there had been 1,000 enquiries from concerned members of the public.

Over that time local authorities undertook almost 600 investigations with the number of investigations increasing by 62 percent in 2021, the number of prosecutions undertaken by local authorities also doubled in 2021 compared to 2020.

RSPCA Cymru’s public affairs officer Billie-Jade Thomas said: “It is encouraging to see local authorities acting on information given to them by members of the public, and may suggest that puppy purchasers are becoming more savvy, and are listening to advice when it comes to puppy farms and breeders.

“But these figures demonstrate there's still significant issues with poor puppy breeding practices in Wales - and we're worried they may only be the tip of the iceberg.”

The RSPCA is urging anyone who has concerns about puppy selling, or if they are concerned that someone is selling puppies without a licence, to contact the local trading standards team, who are responsible for the licensing of breeders.

Llanharan-based charity Hope Rescue recently took in 45 dogs and puppies that had been part of a local authority investigation. Vanessa Waddon, from Hope Rescue, added: “We are pleased to see both the number of investigations and prosecutions increase. This is indicative of increased public awareness of the devastating impact of low-welfare and illegal breeding.

“We are pleased to support local authority investigations and recently took in 45 dogs and puppies signed over from an illegal breeder in a shocking condition.

“The key will also be in ensuring that local authorities are properly resourced and trained to meet the significant challenges ahead if Wales is to truly tackle the issues highlighted in the review and lead the way in tackling low-welfare breeders prioritising wealth over health.”