DEFRA’s new licensing regime does not go far enough

02 February 2017

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee welcomes the Government's move to bring in a tougher animal establishments regime but does not believe it goes far enough.

Chair's comment

Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Committee, says:

"I am unhappy that the Government has not followed our suggestion to ban the third party sale of dogs, as I believe this would have had a large impact on the condition of dogs sold in the UK. The Government's own advice for a buyer to see a puppy with its mother is contradicted by the ability of third parties to sell puppies.

However, any tightening up of the sale of animals must be seen as a step in the right direction. The Committee recommended that those trading pets commercially online needed to be properly licensed, with the licence number displayed, and I welcome the Government's action in this area.

"This is a lost opportunity...."

While I welcome a new licensing regime for breeders, the Committee will be disappointed that the Government has decided to apply it to anyone breeding three litters or more. The majority of animal charities we heard from advocated that anyone selling two litters or more per year should be licensed as a breeder. This is a lost opportunity to bring more breeders under the licensing regime.

I'm pleased that the Government has followed our recommendation that businesses accredited by UKAS should not be exempt from the licensing regime.

Our inquiry highlighted the importance of the socialisation of puppies. The licensing regime must not become a tick-box exercise by local authorities and that action by breeders to support the social development of puppies must be looked at".

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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