Kennel Club Urges Collaboration On Licensing

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Kennel Club urges collaboration on licensing
11th September 2017

By Sandra Pearce

Local authorities could see a ten-fold increase in the number of dog breeders requiring licences under new government proposals, which will do little to curb puppy farmers, warns the Kennel Club.

New dog breeding licensing proposals put forward by DEFRA could see the threshold at which a dog breeder requires a licence change from five to just three litters of pups a year. The Kennel Club is urging the government to ensure that the Assured Breeder Scheme is incorporated into the regulations in order to assist local authorities that would otherwise face an impossible task of enforcing new laws alone.

Fewer than 900 dog breeders are licensed and inspected by local authorities annually.  This number will increase under the new proposals to 5,800. Currently around 58% of local authorities have two or fewer members of staff who carry out inspections in addition to their normal ‘day job’, whereas Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme assessors are trained and inspect around 1,200 breeders a year. 

The Kennel Club is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to inspect dog breeders under its Assured Breeder Scheme.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “While we welcome DEFRA’s attempts to tackle unlicensed breeding, we have grave concerns that without proper enforcement, we may lose out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive puppy farmers out of business.

“It is imperative that bad breeders are exposed, and good breeders are easily identifiable, and in our view, this is only possible by incentivising good breeders to become ‘Assured’. This is critical now at a time when illegal puppy trafficking is rife and thousands of puppies are being smuggled into Britain from Eastern Europe to sell to an unsuspecting UK market.”

The Kennel Club has suggested that the government creates a separate ‘risk category’ for Assured Breeders, which would mean they would still require a local authority licence but that the Kennel Club would process the application by passing their inspection reports and a nominal ‘administration’ fee to their local authority, who in turn would issue a licence based on them passing an Assured Breeder Scheme inspection.