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Puppy farmers ‘exploiting covid confusion’
28th April 2021

By Karen Pickwick

After a year of emergency covid-19 laws meaning puppies could be delivered to new homes, The Kennel Club is urging vigilance from would-be owners as domestic travel restrictions across Great Britain relax.

The organisation has always urged potential new owners to avoid buying a puppy if the seller is offering to deliver it, as this enables rogue traders and puppy farms to hide poor breeding conditions from view. During the coronavirus pandemic however, while everyone was instructed to ‘stay at home’, emergency guidance meant breeders could deliver puppies to their new homes in certain situations.

With travel restrictions relaxing in Scotland from yesterday (April 26), the final domestic easing of the travel rules within Great Britain, The Kennel Club is warning of ongoing puppy deliveries and urging more vigilance from potential new puppy owners, who should now collect their puppy from where it was bred and raised, with its littermates and mum.

“Following a year of confusing and difficult covid-19 rules for breeders, rescue organisations and potential new owners – alongside a huge demand for dogs – it’s crucial that the general public is clear on how to responsibly buy a puppy, as restrictions ease,” said Dr Ed Hayes, head of policy and public affairs at the Club.

ROGUE BREEDERS

“There’s been a huge increase in pet ownership during the pandemic, but we need to protect our much-loved four-legged friends and learn to spot and avoid rogue breeders, many of whom are selling online and delivering to homes, hiding horrific conditions and contributing to a puppy welfare crisis.”

During the last year, Governments across Great Britain have passed and enacted Lucy’s Law, which bans third-party puppy sales in order to help ensure people directly meet their puppy’s breeder and see where puppies have been bred and raised.

However, The Kennel Club is warning that this isn’t a silver bullet and buyers must learn to spot rogue breeders, including those who are exploiting confusion around the pandemic and what restrictions now allow.

The Kennel Club has released updated guidance for puppy buyers and breeders via its online covid-19 hub: thekennelclub.org.uk/coronavirus and further advice on how to buy a dog responsibly, and Be Puppywise, is available at: thekennelclub.org.uk/be-puppywise