The Kennel Club has welcomed a consultation by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) about a ban on the practice of selling puppies via third parties as a crucial step forward to tackle the cruel puppy farming industry. However, concerns have been raised about how the licensing regulations will be enforced and whether or not they will be enforced efficiently.
The Kennel club have regulations which ban the sale of puppies to third parties and have waited a long time for an end to the sale of puppies in pet shops and by third party retailers. Often, people who buy dogs from puppy farmers are completely unaware of the poor conditions in which they were raised, making it even harder to identify.
Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko said: “The Kennel Club has long supported and campaigned for a ban on third party sales and we are glad that other organisations are now coming on board, which will help to send a strong message of support to Defra during the consultation period.”
The measures, which were laid before parliament yesterday under the Animal Establishment Licensing Regulations, include:
- Banning licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks
- Ensuring that licensed dog breeders show the puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made
- Preventing online sales in which the buyer hasn’t seen the puppy first.
Whilst this is a step in the right direction, the Kennel Club have a few concerns about how local authorities are going to enforce the new licensing regime, now that anyone who breeds three or more litters will require a license. The Animal Licensing Establishment Regulations were laid before parliament on Thursday 8 February and will start being enforced in October.
Caroline Kisko continued: “All the regulations in the world will not improve dog welfare unless they can be effectively enforced and we question how already over stretched local authorities can enforce all of these changes, which are so critical to improving dog welfare, now that many more breeders will require inspection.
Further information on the Kennel Club’s view on puppy sales can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/kennel-club-campaigns/puppy-farming/.