New 'puppy farming' plans don't go far enough
New proposals aimed at tackling puppy farming issues won't make any noticeable difference, according to leading campaigner Marc Abraham.The founder of PupAid says: "To really make a difference we need a ban on 3rd party puppy sales so buyers can only purchase direct from breeder or adopt from rescue."
Marc told Pet Trade Xtra: "Sadly for this country's dogs Government statements like 'smaller puppy breeding establishments must abide by same regulations and licensing rules as bigger breeders so that the worst offenders can be dealt with' makes a complete mockery of UK dog breeding legislation. These laws are rarely enforced, and the 'worst offenders' never prosecuted or held to account in the first place.
"To really make a difference and improve the lives of dogs in the UK we need a ban on 3rd party puppy sales so buyers can only purchase direct from breeder or adopt from rescue.
"Until that happens it's unlikely any amount of new licencing, made worse by local authority spending cuts and reduced Government resources, will ever make a noticeable difference.
"Furthermore George Eustice's comment that it's 'crucial puppies are cared for properly and socialised in the first three months if they are to enjoy healthy and happy lives' completely conflicts with his own outdated legislation allowing/encouraging puppies to be removed from their mums early and sold unsocialised and often suffering from painful diseases by 3rd parties e.g. pet shops and websites.
"DEFRA really needs to step up and prove that we are in fact a 'nation of animal lovers' and that must start from the top."
The British Veterinary Association has, however, welcomed a move to strengthen regulations around dog breeding with President Sean Wensley saying: "It represents a valuable opportunity to improve licensing regulations and ensure all breeding establishments are producing only healthy, well-socialised puppies."
Sean Wensley, pictured above left with George Euctice, added: "Vets see first hand the tragic consequences that can result from irresponsible breeding, as owners are faced with serious and avoidable health and behavioural problems in their new pets.
"We strongly recommend that anyone considering buying a puppy only buys directly from the breeder (ideally a member of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme) or considers giving a home to a rescue dog from a recognised rehoming charity.
"Additionally, downloading the AWF/RSPCA puppy contract, using it to ask the right questions and insisting on visiting the puppy alongside its mother will help owners ensure they come home with a happy and healthy pet."