Legislation to ban third party puppy sales is long overdue

What an awful situation two families were left in when they bought puppies in good faith only to be left devastated when their new pets fell ill '“ and in one case died.

The McDermotts and Bingham families both bought golden labradors from a private seller but within days both dogs were ill.

They are now quite rightly backing a potential government ban on third party puppy sales.

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Puppies should not be taken away from their mothers until at least two months old but in the case of the Binghams, their vet told them their pet – Barney – was only four weeks old.

Both families are understandably angry that the person they bought the pups from lied to them about the age.

The government is to explore a ban on third party puppy sales so families like the McDermotts and the Binghams don’t have to go through the trauma they did.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced the move and said: ‘We need to do everything we can to make sure the nation’s much loved pets get the right start in life.

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‘From banning the sale of underage puppies to tackling the breeding of dogs with severe genetic disorders, we are cracking down on sellers who have a total desregard for their dogs’ welfare.’

That legislation may well have come too late for the two families featured in The News today, but it cannot come too soon if it is to help unsuspecting others from suffering the same fate.

Dogs – and indeed any animal – deserves the best possible start in life and for irresponsible sellers who put profit ahead of animal welfare to let the dog go before it is ready is unforgivable.

The RSPCA’s slogan of ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ should be as relevant throughout the year as it is at the festive period.