MORE than 130 dogs have been seized from a Bury-based puppy farm which has been operating without a licence the past 20 months.

The dogs were removed from Bentley Hall Farm in Walshaw by the RSPCA because of concerns for the welfare of the animals at the property.

Last Thursday’s raid, which also involved Greater Manchester Police, Bury Council environmental services and a vet, came weeks after it was disclosed the puppy farm’s licence had run out in August, 2011.

Bury Council had also revealed it had received a number of complaints about Bentley Hall Farm which produces and sells puppies of various breeds.

A statement from the RSPCA said it had removed 136 dogs from the puppy farm and had spent a full day at the premises.

The statement continued: “The dogs — which include more than 70 Labrador, Collie and Malamute-type puppies — have been seized and placed in RSPCA care while our investigation takes place.

“The dogs still belong to their owner and we are not looking for new homes for them at the moment.”

A spokeswoman added: “The RSPCA visited because of concerns for the welfare of the animals at the property and that’s what our investigation is about.”

After Bentley Hall Farm’s licence ran out, Bury Council had been in contact with those running the puppy farm on several occasions with the aim of getting it to comply with regulations. The authority has also been working with the Kennel Club, the Dog Lovers Registration Club and the RSPCA.

The owners of Bentley Hall Farm recently submitted the necessary paperwork for a dog breeding licence and a pet shop licence.

Last week, Bury North MP David Nuttall called for action against the puppy farm and said he had asked local councillors, whose wards fall within Bentley Hall Farm, to look into the matter directly.

His wife, Bury councillor Mrs Susan Nuttall, whose Church ward takes in the farm, questioned why no previous action had been taken following the expiry of its licence.

“Nonetheless, I am pleased that some action has now been taken and I want to keep a watchful eye on what happens,” added Cllr Nuttall.