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Puppy breeding and trade

Border terrier puppy sitting in puppy farming kennel © RSPCA

We're concerned about the way puppies are bred and sold like commodities with little or no regard for their future well being. The number of puppies bred and illegally imported outweighs the number of good homes available. Many puppies die prematurely or develop behavioural or health problems as a result of poor breeding.

Of the complaints we received concerning sick puppies in 2013, where the method of sale was known, 87 per cent were sold via the internet with the second highest being through a newspaper ad at five per cent.

While there is a demand for cheap pedigree puppies, puppy dealers will find a way to sell them. We believe that if we are to tackle the poor breeding and illegal trade in puppies, the tap needs to be switched off.

An overhaul of dog breeding legislation

That’s why we’re calling on MPs to focus on developing legislation which tackles the root causes of the problem by cutting off the illegal trade and ensuring increased accountability and monitoring of anyone who breeds puppies.

We’re calling for an overhaul of dog breeding legislation to protect both mum and pups. We’d like to see:

  • A decrease in the number of litters a breeder can produce per year without requiring any kind of licence or inspection.
  • For the responsibility of checking animals imported under PETS to be passed from ferry companies to a statutory border control agency.
  • For local authorities to be allocated resources to be able to enforce breeding laws effectively.
  • For the government to push for an amendment to the European Commission's proposal for an Animal Health Law to ensure all commercial breeders and sellers would need to be registered.
  • The government to stop denying the escalating problem with illegal importation of puppies and increase spot checks at our ports and begin capturing proper data on illegal imports.

Join our calls to MPs to ‘Stop the Puppy Traders’!


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