Islwyn MP, Chris Evans will call for a complete ban on the third-party sale of puppies during a debate in Parliament on Tuesday 17th October 2017, arguing the present legislation is not fit for purpose and needs updating.
The licensing of pet shops is governed by the Pet Animals Act 1951, which predates the internet. Many puppies sold online are the result of intensive puppy farming or smuggling. These puppies are often unvaccinated and sold long before they are supposed to leave their mothers, leading to long-term sickness and, in many cases, death.
The welfare for parent dogs is also disregarded, with many unlicensed breeders producing more litters in a year than is recommended from a single dog. Research from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home estimates that 88% of puppies born in Great Britain are bred by unlicensed breeders.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Evans said: ‘With Christmas just around the corner, sales of puppies in the UK are set to rise as families everywhere plan for the ultimate gift for a loved one. Current laws in regards to the sale of pets predate not only the internet, but also the Queen’s Coronation – that is how old the laws are. Quite frankly it is ridiculous that we are still having this debate in 2017.
‘The Pet Animals Act 1951 must be updated to include the regulation of online sellers, and the banning of third-party sales. There are too many people putting profits ahead of animal welfare, and until the Government change these laws then they are essentially on the side of unlicensed breeders. Therefore, I am calling for a ban on third-party sales of puppies, and a much needed update to the outdated legislation.
‘I will also urge the UK Government to take a leaf out of the Welsh Government’s book. The Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2014 introduced much stricter laws for dog breeders and sellers. It is about time that England and Scotland followed suit.’