Philip Dunne MP has welcomed a crackdown on unscrupulous puppy breeders, as the Environment Secretary laid down a raft of measures in Parliament to raise the standards of animal welfare.
The government has also called for evidence on a possible ban on third party puppy sales, meaning prospective dog owners will either deal directly with the breeder or with one of the nation’s many animal rehousing centres.
Legislation will ban licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks, and ensuring that breeders show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made. Further action will be taken to prevent the sale of weak underage puppies and the breeding of unhealthy dogs, along with dogs with severe genetic disorders.
The plans have been welcomed by both the Kennel Club and the RSPCA.
Mr Dunne said: “The message from government could not be clearer – unscrupulous puppy breeders will not be tolerated. As a dog owner myself, I am firmly behind the government taking a strong stance on this issue. I know from several constituents who have been raising the risk of puppy breeding abuses for some time that this is of growing concern.
“These measures, alongside a range of legislation this Conservative Government is putting in place to drive up animal welfare standards, including introducing mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses and increasing maximum prison sentences tenfold for animal abusers, will be welcomed by pet owners and animal lovers across South Shropshire.”