What are the Rules when Buying a Puppy?
Last month “Lucy’s Law” was passed by parliament; this bans the sale of puppies and kittens through a third party, such as pet shops or dealers and will come into force in April next year.
This means that potential buyers must deal directly with the breeder, giving them a chance to see animals with their mother and to fully access their living conditions, and encouraging responsible breeding.
Pet shops and other commercial organisations will be banned entirely from selling any puppies or kittens under 6 months.
In October 2018 laws were also tightened for breeders themselves. Here’s a brief overview of the new rules breeders must adhere to:
• Anyone breeding 3 or more litters a year must obtain a licence to do so.
• Anyone breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs must also obtain a licence.
• A new star rating system has been introduced to help buyers find a good breeder.
(1 star breeders can only get a 1 year licence and are subject to more inspections).
• Breeders will also be assessed on their ability to maintain welfare standards.
• Puppies must now by law be shown with their mother.
• Breeders must make plans to socialise puppies to prepare them for their future home.
• Puppies must be of good physical and genetic health. They must also display a good temperament.
• Licence holders must not breed from dogs that suffer from a chronic illness.
• Puppies cannot be bred from a bitch that has required 2 caesareans.
• Puppies must not be sold at below 8 weeks of age.
As a potential buyer you have every right to request information on a breeders licence and to view puppies with their mother in their living environment. If you are ever concerned about the welfare of a puppy or its mother, please contact the RSPCA, the police or your local authority.
Buying and choosing a puppy is a very important decision for both of you, with long term implications. It’s essential to do your research and take your time. You are never under any obligation to buy a puppy and can always change your mind once you have viewed them.
Please do call us on 01435 864422 if you are thinking of buying a puppy and would like to know more about what it involves.