UK Protects Puppies With Tighter Pet Dealer Laws

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The UK has made the protection of puppies a priority by making the sale of any puppy under eight weeks old illegal, and tightening laws that will hopefully protect animals against all irresponsible breeders.

In the UK, ministry leaders have tightened already existing animal protection laws by requiring anyone who breeds and sells three or more litters of puppies a year to apply for a formal license, which will allow authorities to ensure that puppy mill scenarios don’t become a norm. More, it will be illegal to sell puppies who are younger than eight-weeks old, keeping them with their mothers to develop more before being separated and allowing them to have what they hope will be better starts.

Related: 10 Signs Your Dog is From a Puppy Mill

Andrea Leadsom, the UK Environment Secretary, said that laws would affect online sellers as well, as they would have to meet extremely strict welfare criteria if they want to get their licenses. The chairman of a Commons committee said that he wished the government had gone further in the restrictions, but the environment department said that the reforms are a great start to protecting the welfare of Britain’s pets, as preventing irresponsible breeders will prevent neglect and abuse.

Additionally, pet shops will now have greater responsibility in sharing written information about all animals they sell under new legal rights given to pet owners with the Animal Welfare Act. Leadsom believes that every pet owner or prospective pet owner is entitled to know that it’s animal had the best start in life. She hopes that these new laws will curb the thousands of puppies born each year to irresponsible breeders, and reduce the first weeks a puppy may spent in cramped and neglected conditions without proper care and vaccinations.

Related: What Is A Puppy Mill?

Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parrish agrees the steps are moves in the right directions, but wishes the government had agreed to ban the third-party sale of dogs, as that allows for pets to be sold without a prospective owner actually seeing the interaction of a puppy with its mother and ensuring it had the best care. He also felt that the licensing regulation should apply to anyone who sells more than two litters a year, vice the three currently in the law, though he is pleased there is any regulation at all.

Breeders who violate the rules are looking at steep, unlimited fines, and even the possibility of serving up to six months in prison.