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  • Minister visits battersea as government confirms it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens

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    The Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley has visited Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to confirm the Government’s commitment to banning the third party sales of puppies and kittens under 6 months of age. The ban will deliver a killer blow to disreputable puppy farmers.

    The Minister’s visit to Battersea came as the Government revealed that 95% of respondents to its Consultation into third -party sales were overwhelming supportive of a ban.
    The ban is a huge victory for animal welfare, as it will make it illegal for puppy farmers to use third party sellers, such as pet shops or fake “homes”, to mask their business selling puppies to unsuspecting owners.

    The law change will close the route to market for puppy farmers by requiring potential owners to go directly to a breeder or a rescue centre if they want to buy any puppy or kitten aged less than six months old.

    Battersea’s Chief Executive Claire Horton says: “Battersea welcomes today’s Government confirmation that third-party sales of puppies and kittens will be banned. Properly enforced, this will help put an end to dogs being used as breeding machines and kept in shocking conditions.

    “The days of unscrupulous puppy dealers lining their pockets with no regard for animal welfare must now come to an end. This ban makes all breeders properly accountable for the puppies they produce, makes it harder for those trying to make a quick profit to dupe the public, and will now give future owners the reassurance that they can adopt their new dog or cat from a safe and trusted source and ideally from a rescue centre.”

    Puppy farmers often advertise their dogs online, and these operations have become a growing problem, as more and more people turn to the internet to buy their pet.
    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. It’s often impossible for unsuspecting buyers to know which sellers are genuine and which are peddling puppy farm dogs.

    Battersea was also encouraged by the Government’s willingness to discuss the introduction of new legislation to regulate rescue centres, who will be exempt from the third-party sales ban. Battersea believes this change should also happen swiftly.

    Claire Horton added: “Currently there are no laws regulating the rescue industry. Anyone can set up an animal rescue or sanctuary without meeting any minimum welfare standards.

    “It’s right that rescue centres, just like breeders, should be regulated to ensure animal welfare standards are being met. Backing up the third-party sales ban with regulation of rescues would be another huge step forward and would help ensure there’s no way for puppy farmers or unscrupulous breeders to set up shop, pretending to be rescue centres.”
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