Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Consultation to ban pet shop sales of puppies and kittens

Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation which could lead to a crack down on controversial puppy and kitten farms.

It would look at making commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens illegal following the ban being implemented in England.

Currently, puppies or kittens can either be purchased via a third-party seller, directly from a breeder or from a rescue or rehoming centre.

It's estimated between 40,000 and 80,000 puppies and kittens are sold via third parties in the UK each year.

Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government says there are concerns commercial third-party sales lead to poorer welfare conditions for the animals, compared to when people buy direct from the breeder.

This might include the introduction to several new and unfamiliar environments and the increased likelihood of multiple journeys the puppies or kittens have to undertake.

The consultation will last for three months and will gather information on the supply chain of puppies and kittens and help identify where Government intervention will have the greatest impact.

Credit: PA Images
  • How to spot a puppy farm:

The RSPCA said dealers are "using the internet to their advantage" when it comes to advertising and selling farmed puppies.

It said promises of "free insurance" and "puppy packs" do not mean the advert is from a legitimate breeder.

If the advert says a puppy has been vaccinated, check its age. Puppies cannot be vaccinated before four-six weeks old.

If the puppy is advertised as have a passport, the RSPCA said it is probably imported.

Ensuring high standards of animal welfare is a priority for the Welsh Government.

There is clear evidence that the sale of puppies and kittens via third parties has the potential to contribute to an increased risk of disease and a lack of socialisation and habituation for the puppies and kittens compared to when people buy directly from the breeder.

The vast majority of those buying a new puppy or kitten do so with the best of intentions. However, it is not always immediately apparent to the buyer where their new pet originated, or in what conditions it was raised.

This consultation is an opportunity to gather as much information as possible to enable us to make lasting improvements to the welfare of puppies and kittens bred in Wales. Banning commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens may only be one aspect of this.

I urge anyone with an interest in animal welfare to get involved and share their views with us on how we can improve the conditions of sale and ensure good welfare practices.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Environment Minister

The consultation on the impact of a ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens in Wales will run until 17 May.