Puppy Peddling Under Scrutiny
Environment Secretary Michael Gove today (8 February 2018) laid legislation before Parliament that would improve the welfare of dogs and puppies in England and Wales.
The legislation, which will come into force later this year, includes:
- Banning licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks;
- Ensuring that licensed dog breeders show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made;
- Tackling the sale of weak underage puppies and the breeding of unhealthy dogs and dogs with severe genetic disorders;
- Introducing compulsory licensing for anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs;
- Requiring puppy sales to be completed in the presence of the new owner, preventing online sales where prospective buyers have not seen the animal first;
- Insisting licensed dog breeders can only sell puppies they have bred themselves.
Naturewatch Foundation welcomes these much needed and long-overdue improvements to the licensing of dog breeders and puppy sellers.
We are also pleased that today Defra has invited evidence from stakeholders and experts on the effect of introducing a ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens in England.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has also called on the Welsh Government to follow Westminster’s lead and explore the potential of implementing a similar ban in Wales.
Naturewatch Foundation and our supporters have been calling for an end to third party puppy sales. With adequate measures in place to ensure effective enforcement, we believe a ban on third party sales would be the quickest and most effective way to address puppy farming. Cutting out the middleman, enabling puppy buyers to view the conditions a puppy was bred in, meet the mother and engage directly with the person who bred their new puppy, will protect both dogs and consumers.
Hope is on the horizon for dogs and puppies.
The Government has recently taken several steps to improve standards for breeding and selling puppies. But they haven’t yet implemented the one measure that would be the single quickest and most effective way to end cruel puppy farming.