THE sale of puppies and kittens by pet shops and other commercial dealers will be banned under plans put out for consultation by the government.
Anyone buying or adopting a pet less than six months old will have to deal directly with the breeder or a rescue centre under the proposed ban.
The move aims to reduce serious health problems and socialisation issues which afflict pets kept in poor conditions by unscrupulous, profit-driven breeders.
Earlier this year two families from Gosport called for the immediate halt to the sale of young pets by third-party commercial dealers.
Both bought golden labradors from a private seller in Knowle but within a few days both dogs were ill. One of the pups later died.
Environment secretary Michael Gove said: ‘A ban on third-party sales will ensure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life.
‘People who have a complete disregard for pet welfare will no longer be able to profit from this miserable trade.’
The latest news comes on the back of the prominent Lucy’s Law campaign which calls for an immediate halt to the sale of young pets by third-party commercial dealers.
Almost 150,000 people signed a petition, which was debated in Parliament in May.
The consultation follows a call for evidence on the ban which ran from February to May.
Marc Abraham, of the Pup Aid campaign, said irresponsible breeders have for years used third parties to keep themselves hidden from the buying public and the proposed ban will make all breeders accountable.
Paula Boyden, veterinary director at the Dogs Trust, welcomed the move but said additional steps were needed to safeguard the health of pets, including the regulation of rehoming sites for pets, which she said would help seal ‘potential loopholes’.
New laws come into force on October 1 banning licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens less than eight weeks old.