The government recently announced the introduction of tougher licensing rules for dog breeding and selling.
Among a number of reforms to safeguard the welfare of Britain’s pets, they plan to tighten up laws around selling pets and breeding dogs, making it illegal to sell puppies younger than eight weeks. Anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year will have to apply for a formal licence or face an unlimited fine and/or up to six months in prison.
Breeders will have to meet ‘strict welfare criteria’ and those who sell pets on the internet will be subject to the same licensing regulations and will have to display their licence when advertising. The plans also cover how pet shops, boarding houses and riding stables are licensed, introducing a single ‘animal activities licence’ to improve the process and make enforcement easier.
Under the new plans, pet shops will be required to give buyers written information about the animals they buy, including details of environment, diet, behaviour, housing and freedom from pain – the five welfare needs owners must meet under the Animal Welfare Act (particularly important for exotic pets, which can have very specific welfare needs).
The plans have been welcomed by the veterinary profession, who have been called upon time and again to try to save puppies that have been sold with heartbreaking illnesses. Some of these could have been helped if they’d been seen earlier, or their illnesses could have been avoided if they’d been kept in better conditions, but none of which should have been sold as ‘healthy’ animals to their unsuspecting new families.
We always advise people to go through a reputable breeder (or rescue organisation), see puppies with their parents and check all their paperwork. Puppies should have their first vaccinations at 7-8 weeks of age, along with their first course of flea and worming treatment. Most good breeders will have pet insurance in place too, for a short period and, of course, puppies must now be microchipped by 8 weeks of age.
Once you get your new family member home, give Clockhouse a call on 01453 752555 to register with us and we’ll be happy to give you any help and advice you need, to keep your puppy happy and healthy for as long as possible.