Blue Cross welcomes measures aimed to tackle irresponsible breeding and sale of puppies

Posted On: 
8th February 2018

We’re delighted to see the Government putting laws in place banning puppy and kitten sales under the age of eight weeks as this will positively benefit their welfare, as will ensuring they must be seen with their mothers at the point of sale.

It is a positive step forward that the Government has also committed to introducing compulsory licensing for all dog breeders and sellers, however we do not believe this goes far enough. The Government’s proposals have set a threshold of three litters a year which we believe can be easily exploited by unscrupulous breeders and sellers. A comprehensive system of registration and licensing for all breeders and sellers which goes hand in hand with a robust regime of enforcement is essential if we are to tackle the issues around the breeding and sale of pets.

We welcome a consultation on the issue of 3rd party sales and look forward to Defra coming up with an evidence-based policy that will effectively tackle the issues around the breeding and sale of dogs.

We’ve always had concerns about the enforceability of such a ban. Our extensive research has shown that local authorities are already struggling to enforce current legislation, resulting in poor welfare standards in licenced premises.

Teams at our hospitals and rehoming centres face the painful reality when critically ill puppies sold by irresponsible breeders arrive at our doors so effective legislation must be backed by proper enforcement.

We hope the consultation will explore these issues in detail. It is essential that the Government doesn’t fall into the trap of rushing through legislation without properly considering all the implications.

To find out more about Blue Cross's research into current pet welfare enforcement read our Unpicking the Knots report.