A petition containing 15,000 signatures was delivered to Number 10 Downing Street on December 1, urging the government to make the standards of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme mandatory for all breeders.
A petition containing 15,000 signatures was delivered to Number 10 Downing Street yesterday (December 1) by Ian Cawsey MP, urging the government to make the principles and standards of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme mandatory for all breeders.
The mandatory introduction of such a scheme would mean that breeders have to put the health and welfare of their puppies first, for example giving their dogs the required health tests for their breed and ensuring that potential buyers see the puppies with their mothers and in their home environment.
The petition comes in light of a growing number of websites selling puppies to recession hit Brits for knock down prices over the festive period and then couriering the “purchase” directly to their customers. These puppies have often come from puppy farms, where they are bred for profit and with no concern for their health and welfare. These irresponsible breeders will sell to any customer – even those who may be looking for so called status dogs or dogs that they can train for fighting.
Almost one third of the dog buying population get their puppies from pet shops – which often come from puppy farms – or from personal ads in free newspapers or the internet, where they may never see the conditions in which the puppies were bred (statistics on dog buying habits from PFMA show that 16 per cent of people buy a dog from a private ad, eight per cent from the internet and seven per cent from a pet shop).
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “A puppy should never be bought on a whim or given as a Christmas present. But it is inevitable that people will still look for puppies in December and we want to ensure that these people buy from responsible breeders, rather than unwittingly lining the pockets of puppy farmers who are all too quick to cash in on the demand.
“The petition that we have handed to the government today asks that some form of regulation be introduced to curb the activities of puppy farmers who breed puppies purely for profit. They are literally getting away with murder as the puppies and breeding bitches will often fall sick further down the line.
“One third of puppy buyers go through the internet, free newspaper ads or pet shops, whose puppies often come from puppy farmers, or from those dealing on their behalf. Unlike Kennel Club Accredited Breeders, these people will not health test their dogs or show buyers the puppy’s mother and breeding environment, which we think should be a legal requirement. Neither will they ask any questions to determine whether the owner is ready for dog ownership, meaning that they may be sold into irresponsible hands, with potentially devastating consequences.”
Kennel Club veterinary advisor Marc Abraham gives the following list of dos and don’ts for potential puppy buyers:
- Ask to see the puppy’s mother, which should be present.
- See the puppies in their breeding environment and ask to look at the kenneling conditions, if they were not raised within the breeder’s house. If you suspect the conditions are not right, then do not buy the puppy.
- For a pedigree puppy always contact the Kennel Club first for their list of reliable and reputable Kennel Club Accredited Breeders.
- Be prepared to be put on a waiting list – a healthy puppy is well-worth waiting for.
- Ask if you can return the puppy if things don’t work out. Reputable breeders will always say yes.
- Be suspicious of a breeder selling more than one (maximum two) breeds, unless you are sure of their credentials.
- Buy a puppy from a pet shop – these have often come from puppy farms.
- Pick your puppy up from a ‘neutral location’ such as a car park or motorway service station. This is a common tactic used by puppy farm dealers.
- Buy a puppy because you feel like you’re rescuing it. You’ll only be making space available for another poorly pup to fill.
For further information visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/stoppuppyfarming.