News Third Party Puppy And Kitten Sales Will Be Banned



Third party puppy and kitten sales WILL be banned
28th December 2018

By Karen Pickwick

The government has confirmed it will be banning third party sales of puppies and kittens.

The decision was taken following a public consultation, where there was more than 95% support for a ban. Defra believes the ban will help end ‘the terrible welfare conditions’ found in puppy farming and solve a range of existing animal welfare issues.

This will mean that anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten under six months must deal directly with the breeder or with an animal rehoming centre. It The ban will help to crack down on puppy farms and make it much harder for high volume low welfare breeders, both licensed and unlicensed, whose trade relies on third party sellers.

These include the early separation of puppies and kittens from their mothers and the increased likelihood of long journeys that puppies or kittens have to undertake. All of these can contribute to an increased risk of disease and a lack of socialisation for the puppies and kittens.


During a visit to Battersea Cat and Dogs Home on December 23, Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said: “This ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens is part of our commitment to make sure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life. I pay tribute to the Lucy’s Law campaign and the many stakeholders who have passionately campaigned for this ban. Today’s decision builds on our previous action in this area, including banning the sale of puppies under eight weeks and tackling the breeding of dogs with genetic disorders.”

Marc Abraham, TV vet and founder of PupAid and the Lucy’s Law campaign to ban third party puppy and kitten sales, said: “This is a real victory for grass roots campaigners as well as the UK’s dogs and cats. On behalf of my phenomenal Lucy’s Law team I thank the government, and every animal lover, ethical animal welfare organisation, parliamentarian and celebrity that’s helped make Lucy’s Law’s ban on third party puppy and kitten sales a reality.”

Battersea’s chief executive, Claire Horton, also welcomed the ban.

“Properly enforced, this will help put an end to dogs being used as breeding machines and kept in shocking conditions,” she said.

“The days of unscrupulous puppy dealers lining their pockets with no regard for animal welfare must now come to an end. This ban makes breeders properly accountable for the puppies they produce and will now give future owners the reassurance that they can adopt their new dog or cat from a safe and trusted source and ideally from a rescue centre.”


A Dog Trust spokesman described the announcement as ‘a positive step for animal welfare’ and was also pleased that its recommendation to regulate the rehoming sector was being seriously considered.

“We already know of cases where unscrupulous sellers set themselves up as fake breeders, with fake homes and fake puppy mums, while shipping in puppies from puppy farms or overseas. By looking to address this loophole we can also prevent unscrupulous sellers from setting themselves up as a rehoming organisation in order to continue their devious trade. This is one of a package of measures which must be addressed for a ban to be fully effective.”

RSPCA deputy chief executive Chris Wainwright said: “We believe that cracking down on unscrupulous traders, who put profit ahead of animal welfare, will provide much-needed protection for prospective pet owners and animals.

“We have always said that an end to third party sales alone would not be enough to end the puppy trade crisis and we are pleased that this is being looked at alongside enhanced licensing conditions for breeders introduced earlier this year.

“Together, we hope these moves will offer better protection to puppies and their parents and also reduce the number of families duped by rogue traders in this illegal multi-million-pound trade.”

The government is continuing to work with stakeholders on the issue of whether non-commercial rescue and rehoming centres will require a licence to operate.