Orchard Vet's Blog
Puppy farm ban
The government have given serious consideration to a ban on puppy sales by pet shops and other third-party dealers in recent weeks. At its heart is a concern for the welfare of young animals. The proposals could enhance licensing conditions that are already due to come into force later this year, which would prevent sales of puppies and kittens under eight weeks old. Conversely, there is concern that a ban would force sales underground, with puppy farms re-inventing themselves as sanctuaries (which are unregulated). Consequently, although the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have recommended a ban, the government have decided not to implement the recommendation.
There can be no doubt that an end to third-party sales would significantly improve puppy welfare but we are conscious that consumers are unwittingly complicit. Ideally new dogs should be brought up in a home where they can become well socialised. From this environment it becomes possible to assess the temperament of the animal's parents and therefore the animal being bought. We would therefore encourage anyone thinking of buying a puppy to only buy direct from breeders where the mother is present.
If you are thinking of buying a puppy (or indeed any pet), please come and talk to us first so that we can advise you about whether it's a good idea and help you find your ideal companion.
You can read the RSPCA's advice on finding a good puppy breeder here.§