A ban on third party puppy and kitten sales in England will be introduced to help drive up animal welfare standards.
The announcement was made by Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, at a garden reception at 10 Downing Street.
Defra has published a consultation on an outright ban that will mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten must either deal directly with the breeder or with one of the nation’s many animal rehoming centres.
The proposed ban on third party sales is part of a series of 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 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.
“We are delighted the government has taken on board the evidence supplied by Mayhew and other welfare organisations on this important issue that we have all been very concerned about,” said Mayhew’s CEO, Caroline Yates. “We purport to be a nation of animal lovers. As such bringing a pup or kitten into a family home should never be a purely commercial transaction, where profit is the primary purpose, and where no thought is given for the welfare of defenceless animals that feel pain and distress as we do.
“This ban will help prevent owners continuously being misled into buying often sickly or underage animals from third party dealers, who have no interest in their welfare. It will bring us closer to putting an end to animal suffering, unnecessary deaths and the all too frequent relinquishment to shelters of these poor animals.”