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Stronger protection for puppies and kittens comes into force


New legislation which protects puppies and kittens and provides the purchaser with an assurance the animals have been bred on the premises from which they are being sold, comes into force from today (Friday, September 10).

It is now illegal for a commercial seller to sell a puppy or kitten that they have not bred themselves at their own premises and they must ensure the mother is present.

Puppies and kittens can only be purchased from where they were bred or from a rescue or rehoming centre. This provides additional protection for the animals and reduces the risk of disease and trauma.

Unregulated third party sale of puppies and kittens can be associated with poorer welfare conditions for the animals compared with animals purchased directly from a breeder.

Puppies and kittens sold through a third party may have to travel long distances and change hands many times while experiencing several new environments at a very young age. This has the potential to contribute to an increased risk of health problems, stress and lack of socialisation.

These new regulations will close loopholes, creating discretion on enforcement by local authorities who will work with key organisations involved in either rehoming or rescue activities. Through a robust Business Test, they provide Local Authorities with a channel to assess whether animals are being kept purely for financial gain, and aim to improve animal welfare through supporting informed decision-making by the purchasing public.

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