B.C. Premier Christy Clark says requiring animal breeders to be licensed by the province will effectively put puppy mills “out of business.”

In the wake of two high-profile animal seizures, the premier says the government will consult with the SPCA starting this spring on how to take action against “irresponsible” breeders.

New laws anticipated to take effect in 2017 will require breeders to be registered and licensed with the province.

“With licensing comes inspection and with inspection comes high standards,” Clark told reporters.

“Cruelty to animals in this province will not be tolerated. We love our pets. We love our animals in B.C. and they are the most vulnerable members of this society.”

In addition, B.C. says it will adopt a regulation under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act recognizing the CMVA’s Code of Practice for kennel and cattery operations.

Those codes include minimum standards for housing and sanitation, food and water, record keeping and ventilation.

There are also requirements for breeders to provide vet care at the first indication an animal is unwell.

“If your desire to make money comes at the expense of animal welfare we don’t want you doing business here,” Clark says of bad breeders. “You are not welcome in British Columbia.”

The crackdown on shady breeding operations comes in the middle of two wide scale cruelty investigations involving animal breeders and boarders.

Last Tuesday, a total of 82 cats, dogs and puppies were removed from a Surrey breeding and boarding facility, after a vet deemed the animals were in distress. Two of the animals – a cat and one kitten -- needed to be humanely euthanized.

And 66 malnourished and ill dogs and puppies were seized from an accused Langley puppy mill on Feb. 4.

The animals came in with various issues, including matted fur, dental disease, infections, abscesses, overgrown nails, and worse – missing eyes and ears and broken limbs.

In that case, the BC SPCA said the breeder was operating under a number of business names, and selling purebred puppies for thousands of dollars on websites like Craigslist and Kijiji.

The premier said the new rules are not intended to harm reputable breeders, and will actually protect their reputation.

Every year, the BC SPCA investigates about 200 complaints about animal welfare concerns with breeders.

“We really believe that these are significant steps forward for animal welfare in this province,” said BC SPCA CEO Craig Daniell.