Third party puppy sales: Government launches call for evidence on ban

A ban on third party puppy sales will be explored as part of a package of reforms to drive up animal welfare standards

A call for evidence is launched today seeking views on a possible ban on third party sales, which would mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a dog will either deal directly with the breeder or with one of the nation’s many animal rehousing centres. You can share your views on how this ban could be best introduced here - the consultation ends on 2 May 2018.

The announcement has been widely welcomed by charities:

  • RSPCA - "We are delighted that Defra is considering a ban on third party sales of puppies."

  • Mayhew rehoming centre - "We are really pleased today to hear that there will be a call for evidence on banning third party sales of animals."

  • Kennel Club - "The Kennel Club welcomes Defra’s announcement as a crucial step forward to tackle the cruel puppy farming industry."

Meanwhile, a raft of measures to crack down on unscrupulous puppy breeders set out by the Prime Minister in December have also been laid in Parliament today, these include:

  • Banning licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks;

  • Ensuring that licensed dog breeders show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made;

  • Tackling the sale of weak underage puppies and the breeding of unhealthy dogs and dogs with severe genetic disorders;

  • Introducing compulsory licensing for anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs;

  • Requiring puppy sales to be completed in the presence of the new owner, preventing online sales where prospective buyers have not seen the animal first;

  • Insisting licensed dog breeders can only sell puppies they have bred themselves.

The government recently consulted on plans to increase maximum prison sentences for animal abusers to five years and recognise animal sentience in domestic law. The consultation closed on 31 January and we are now considering the responses. We will set out next steps in due course.

You can read more on this announcement here.