This week deputy prime minister Harriet Harman has called for a tightening of the screw, if you'll excuse the expression, on the availability of paid-for-sex in Great Britain. She's concerned that prostitution is becoming an acceptable and largely ignored criminal activity and thinks it's about time we did something about it. They call it 'the oldest' profession in the world and despite the fact that it is indeed illegal, we all know its happening every single hour of every single day of the year, without exception. Earlier in the year a Cardiff based newspaper reported on the rise of the illegal trafficking of women into the British sex trade from Eastern Europe. The paper in question tackled the subject with an urgent tone informing us that it was time we put a stop to this sickening trade. Time to confront the unpleasant fact that girls are being traded for money and living terrible, abusive, inhumane lifestyles while we all turn the other cheek and carry on regardless. A virtuous message. A message watered down somewhat by the fact that, should its readers turn to the back of the very same newspaper lecturing us about the horrors of the sex trade, they'd be faced with a plethora of adverts for 'private massage' and 'personal, discreet services' placed by the very same 'industry' and ultimately funded by the very same criminals decried in the paper's lead story. Oh, the irony. So what does all this have to do with puppies? Each year, around Christmas time the press - printed media that is - punctuates its reports on how we spend too much on credit cards and sandwiched in between speculation over what will be Christmas no 1 or pondering whether we'll be getting a white Christmas, are messages of warning, explaining how animal shelters will be bursting at the sides with unwanted dogs, thrown out with the wrapping paper in the early new year. We are advised, in the strongest possible tone, that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas each and every year, without fail. Don't do it, they preach. Don't buy a puppy for Christmas, they yell. OK, OK, calm down. I hear you. I won't get a puppy this Christmas. I'll wait until, oh let's say March. Yes March, that seems a much more sensible time to get that puppy I've always wanted. But where to look? I know, may as well try the local paper. They seem full of virtue and messages of responsibility. I can trust them. "Labradors, Yorkies and Westies for Sale. Pedigree, no papers. £150 each." Hmm, I'm not sure whether I want an Andrex puppy or a little Yorkie. May as well get one of each. Hopefully their fur won't clash with the carpet in the lounge. Sarcasm mode off For those who don't know, a puppy farm is a place where lots of puppies are bred for the purpose of creating a profitable income stream for the owner of said 'farm'. For those who do know, they are squalid, unpleasant animal factories which happen to deal in canines where money is the primary objective, animal welfare, frankly, is not. For those who don't know, puppy farms tend to identify themselves with adverts which look a little bit like this: "Labradors, Yorkies and Westies for Sale. Pedigree, no papers. £150 each." For those who do know, this type of advert stands our like a sore, diseased thumb. For those who don't know, you're somewhat forgiven. I'll explain why. Puppy farms prosper only when they are afforded the oxygen of publicity enabling them to promote their stock throughout the year to a wide audience of people in and around their locality. That publicity is very, very often afforded to them by the local press, be that free ads papers or the classifieds sections of established, trusted local media producs such as the evening newspapers or free papers delivered door to door. You know, the same papers who were lecturing us about not getting puppies for Christmas. Those ones. So it's little surprise that some of the readers of these titles, who also happen to be on the look out for a puppy tend to place a large degree of trust in the medium through which they are being exposed to advertising for 'Labradors, Yorkies and Westies' at a £150 a pup. This Christmas I thought I wouldn't bother with the usual 'a dog is for life message'. It's one of the strongest media slogans ever created. There's hardly a person in the country who hasn't heard it. Yet there are still enough people year in year out prepared to simply ignore it, choosing instead to take the view that the message's sentiment somehow doesn't apply to them. I have a name for these people. Imbecilic morons. Which leaves us wondering how to solve a problem of the imbecilic moron who wants that puppy, now, now, now? Seems reasonably simple to me. If Mr Moron is not exposed to advertising from puppy farms and dodgy dog dealers, he's probably not bright enough to find them all on his own. Instead, if we can ensure Mr Moron is exposed only to breeders or rescue centres who happen to uphold the highest ethical standards in relation to who they allow their dogs to go to, then Mr Moron may in fact become a more enlightened person and could arrive at the conclusion that a dog might not be the best idea just yet until he's more equipped to become a dog owner. It could even be that Mr Moron is enlightened enough to realise that his vision of a canine Christmas wonderland is pretty flawed. So, on that basis, this is an open message to anyone who publishes newspapers, free sheets, websites or classified operations, anywhere in GB: Please consider who you are prepared to accept advertising from - not just at Christmas but throughout the rest of the year as well - when it comes to the supply of dogs. Please understand that by taking advertising from puppy farms, dealerships or breeders of ill repute that you are contributing massively to the problem of hundreds of thousands of abandoned dogs in Britain. Please understand that by not being prepared to take a moral stand, and let's be honest this is a moral issue not a legal one, puppy farms are NOT illegal, you are enabling the disgusting trade of pets for profit to thrive and prosper right under our noses. That stinks. Ask yourself this, how is it fair to give us all a smack on our figurative noses each Christmas warning us not to be buying puppies only to figuratively roll around in your own excrement throughout the rest of the year taking adverts from scumbags? How is that OK? Remember, hypocrisy is for life, not just for Christmas.