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Puppy dealers act

It's far too easy to sell puppies. We want to see the UK Government treat the issue of puppy dealing in England as seriously as they did scrap metal.


Sick Bulldog puppy © RSPCA

To try and hit the puppy trade as a whole - from organised illegal trafficking to opportunistic backstreet breeding - we believe more of the focus must be on selling. That’s why we’re calling for mandatory licensing for anyone selling puppies in England. This would mean:

  • Anyone selling a puppy must have a licence.
  • Strong penalties and fines for anyone caught selling a puppy without a licence.
  • A national database of puppy sellers (funded by licence fees) to aid enforcement.
  • All internet and offline advertisers (like Pets4Homes, PreLoved, Friday Ad) must display the licence number of the seller in order to list an advert.
  • Sellers must produce their licence when they sell a puppy.
  • Third party sales of puppies would be effectively banned.

While this would not stop illegal trading altogether, it would help to remove the huge layer of unregulated puppy dealing we’re currently battling and give local authorities the tools they need to act.

Tackling this type of organised crime will not be easy, it will take legislative change, multi agency working and unprecedented levels of public support but we’re determined to put the puppy dealers out of business.

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