OneKind has welcomed the announcement by Environment Secretary Michael Gove that the UK government intends to ban third party puppy and kitten sales in England.
Confirming the government’s support for the prominent Lucy’s Law campaign, Defra has published a consultation on an outright ban that will mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten in England must either deal directly with the breeder or with an animal rehoming centre. OneKind has been calling for the same measure to be introduced in Scotland since 2016.
The proposed ban on third party sales in England is part of a series of government reforms on pet welfare, including banning the sale of underage puppies and kittens and tackling the breeding of dogs with severe genetic disorders. New laws come into force in England on 1 October this year banning licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks and tightening the compulsory licensing of anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs.
In Scotland, the Scottish Government pledged in last year’s Programme for Government to improve the licensing regime, so that conditions in Scottish breeding units can be properly controlled and breeders identified. The Scottish Government also plans a new communications campaign to make people aware of the risks of buying puppies online and rehoming dogs from abroad.
A consultation has just closed on a proposal for a Member’s Bill by Christine Grahame MSP, which takes a wide-ranging approach to making both vendor and purchaser more responsible for the long-term welfare of the puppy.
However, none of the measures under discussion specifically includes a proposal to ban third party sales of puppies (or kittens).
Libby Anderson, Policy Advisor for OneKind, said:
“The hidden cost of puppy profiteering is one of animal sickness, distress and suffering, with heartache for many families who have to watch their new pet sicken and die, or grow up to be a confused, unsocialised, potentially aggressive dog. It is impossible to calculate the financial, animal welfare and emotional costs of this trade – so the sooner it is ended across the UK, the better.
“The OneKind Puppy Plan suggests eight actions that we believe would drive the puppy dealers out of business, with a ban on third party sales being our top priority.
“OneKind congratulates the dedicated organisations in England and Wales including Pup Aid, CARIAD, Canine Action UK and the Dog Breeding Reform Group who have contributed to the progress made today.”
Notes to editor:
- OneKind is Scotland’s leading animal campaigns charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals. OneKind works to expose cruelty and persecution through investigations and research covering Scotland’s wildlife, farm animals and pets. Find out more about our work at onekind.scot
- Read OneKind’s report Scotland’s Puppy Profiteers here