From 1st October 2018 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act will ensure higher standards of care are adhered to when breeding dogs. The government-introduced dog breeding legislation has been put in place in a bid to eradicate trafficking and puppy farming as well as improving the overall health and wellbeing of the litter.
The new regulations make it compulsory for any individual breeding for commercial gain or breeding 3 or more litters per year to obtain a license from their local authority. In order to qualify for certification, breeders will be required to meet a number of stringent conditions, which include proof that puppies will be fed in accordance with their age and examples of how they will ensure proper socialisation and development.
Breeders will be evaluated via a home inspection, where they must show the environment in which the puppies will be raised and the provisions they have in place. Following a satisfactory visit the local authority will issue a licence along with a star based rating, which will dictate the frequency with which they carry out repeat inspections and checks.
This new legislation means that it will be illegal for puppies and kittens to be sold from a pet shop and against the law for puppies to be transported from other countries without a licence.
Top tips when buying a puppy
- Always see the puppy before you purchase in the presence of its mother
- Look for clear signs around the house that are consistent with raising a litter of puppies
- Ask to see a copy of the breeders licence
- Ask for a copy of all relevant veterinary documents
- Enrol your dog at your chosen vet and make sure that you consider pet health insurance.
This new legislation will help to encourage responsible dog ownership from the very start and ensure that both dog and owner have an enjoyable life together.