Leading animal welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has strongly welcomed today’s proposed Government ban on third party puppy and kitten sales in England.
Today’s announcement could prevent thousands of animals from being born into squalid conditions and split from their mothers too young, in order to line the pockets of unscrupulous breeders.
Furthermore, Defra’s consultation into a ban on third party sales could stop such breeders and sellers from operating by making the commercial sale of puppies and kittens less than six months old illegal.
Battersea has long campaigned for a range of measures to end the misery endured by breeding bitches and their puppies at the hands of ruthless backstreet breeders and puppy farmers. Dogs, their puppies and kittens are frequently kept in cramped and unacceptable conditions, often dumped with medical and behavioural problems. These puppies and kittens receive little or no proper socialisation, which can lead to lifelong health and welfare problems.
Battersea Chief Executive Claire Horton says:
“Today’s announcement is much welcomed by Battersea as it makes commercial breeders directly accountable for the animals they produce and sell, and will reassure owners that they are buying a life-long companion from a licensed, welfare focussed source. Ultimately we hope this will see much fewer sick and poorly bred animals being produced and an all round healthier, happier dog and cat population in the UK.”
“Unscrupulous breeders and dealers have long been lining their pockets from selling puppies and kittens with scant regard for animal welfare and it’s rescue centres that pick up the pieces, taking in and caring for these animals when their medical or behavioural issues are found to be too difficult or expensive to cope with.”
There is a growing problem with online sales and rescue animals are struggling to find new owners, as they compete with the many animals for sale on poorly regulated websites and social media. In the UK, a new dog for sale advert is created online every two minutes, while a new cat for sale advert is created every four minutes.
Often pet owners have no idea of what they are buying, and in the first three months of this year Battersea took in more than 100 dogs bought online whose owners could no longer care for them, due to veterinary or behavioural issues they did not know they had.
One of these dogs was a 9-week-old Cockerpoo called April whose owner decided they couldn’t care for her. She was brought off a private seller online and arrived at Battersea in a sorry state with dry scaly skin, dirty ears, and fleas. It took several weeks of medicated baths and clinical care, before April was ready to find a loving new home
Claire Horton adds,
“Battersea now encourages the Government to push ahead with assessing how a ban could work and how it will be properly enforced and would like to see Government establish a group of professionals to explore the options of how best to make such a ban effective.”