Government set to take action on puppy sales

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A BAN on third party puppy sales is to be explored by the government as part of a package of reforms to drive up animal welfare standards, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced.

It comes as two families in this area are heartbroken that they were sold puppies that were too younger. One of the puppies died and one suffered serious stomach problems.

Barney, who belongs to the Bingham family and who was sold younger than is legally allowed. He became very ill but has recovered Picture: Vernon Nash

Barney, who belongs to the Bingham family and who was sold younger than is legally allowed. He became very ill but has recovered Picture: Vernon Nash

Both families have back any potential ban, which would tighten up dog welfare laws.

READ MORE: ‘The fact that we were lied to is very disappointing and it is the kids’ feelings at stake and ultimately the dog’s welfare. We were disappointed that we put our trust into someone and we are upset, saddened and angered by what this person has done.’

A call for evidence has been launched seeking views on a possible ban on third party sales, which would mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a dog will either deal directly with the breeder or with one of the nation’s many animal rehousing centres.

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

Michael Gove

Michael Gove

‘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 disregard for their dogs’ welfare.

‘This is a further step to raise the bar on animal welfare standards.

‘We are also introducing mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses and increasing maximum prison sentences tenfold for animal abusers.’

The legislation put before parliament included introducing compulsory licensing for anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs, banning licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks, ensuring that licensed dog breeders show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made, requiring puppy sales to be completed in the presence of the new owner, preventing online sales where prospective buyers have not seen the animal first and insisting licensed dog breeders can only sell puppies they have bred themselves.