New dog breeding standards and stricter licensing conditions are being developed in Carmarthenshire to help regulate the growing industry.
The board is also promoting an approved breeder program and would like the public’s assistance in reporting unauthorized trade selections.
A report presented to the council’s environmental and public protection review committee said organized crime was involved in the sector nationwide.
At a meeting, advisers learned that dogs from Eastern Europe and Ireland had been transported to Carmarthenshire for sale.
Cllr Philip Hughes, executive board member for public protection, said it was an emotional issue that was pointed out in a recent BBC Wales documentary.
“I think it’s fair to say that as an authority we haven’t been particularly successful in this program,” he said.
But he said he believed Carmarthenshire was the most proactive authority in dealing with the ever-growing dog license issues.
He added: “We are in the process of developing new trading standards and strengthening the license conditions, and these will be presented in the coming weeks.”
Carmarthenshire has 85 licensed dog breeders, ten of whom have more than 100 dogs.
A council member told the meeting that 43 other illegal breeders had been identified recently, mainly by monitoring social media and some internet sales platforms.
The successful prosecutions have brought the authority Â£ 275,000 in the last two years alone through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The board has regulatory responsibility for authorizing breeders who breed three or more litters in a 12 month period. It also authorizes pet stores and dealers, and investigates commercial breeding and animal welfare issues.
Agents are giving advice to breeders – and have refused 23 licenses in 2019-20 to date, up from nine refusals in 2018-19.
The committee heard that the legal process was slow, with arrest warrants required to enter the property of someone who was not a licensed trader.
An officer said: âWe have to be very secure before entering private property.
“We understand that there are private homes that are used as breeding facilities, and we are taking active measures.
“But the legal system is not a quick process.”
The officer also said council officials were meeting with the Welsh government shortly to discuss the issues.
Welsh ministers are now drafting a law that would ban third parties such as pet shops or commercial dealers from selling puppies and kittens, unless they are raising the animals themselves.
Carmarthenshire Council wants to focus its resources on illegal dog breeding, monitoring online activity and improving standards.
The review report indicated that 18 breeders were eligible for its approved breeder program, which would reassure buyers and strengthen the reputation of sellers.
Councilor Joseph Davies said if every buyer demanded to see a puppy with its mother, the illegal breeding would be eradicated.
Cllr Hughes said: “We are trying to encourage breeders to join this ‘buy with confidence’ program.
“To access it, it’s a pretty rigid process. You have to do some checking.”
He also said it was frustrating that people with knowledge of illegal breeding did not come forward to the authorities.
Cllr Mansel Charles has called for an investigation into the illegal breeding of dogs, but it was decided that a working and arrival group of the committee would be established instead.
Committee chairman Cllr John James said the public has a role to play and added that many dog ââbreeders are complying with the regulations.
Cllr Hughes said after the meeting that he didn’t think the documentary program presented authority in a good light, given the work it was doing.