Third party sales of puppies and kittens are set to be banned in Wales after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.
Currently, puppies and kittens can either be purchased directly from a breeder – licensed or unlicensed depending on the number of breeding bitches at the premises – via a third-party seller, or from a rescue/rehoming centre.
There are no national records of the number of puppies and kittens sold via third-parties.
Commercial third-party sellers are those who are licensed pet sellers; In Wales they will hold a license under the Pet Animals Act 1951.
There are concerns commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens may be associated with poorer welfare conditions for the animals compared with direct purchase from the breeder.
The Welsh Government hopes the ban will improve animal welfare conditions and help the public to make more informed choices when buying a pet.
Nearly 500 people responded to a public consultation held in February this year, it sought views on wider issues associated with breeding dogs and cats.
The vast majority of people said they would like to see a ban and called for more to be done to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises in Wales.
Many also raised concerns about online sales, impulse purchasing, breeder accountability and illegal importation of puppies.
A summary of these responses can be viewed here: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultations/2019-07/third-party-sales-of-puppies-kittens-summary-of-responses.pdf
Plans for a ban will now be put to a full public consultation looking into the details and impacts of a ban, as well as amendments to breeding regulations to improve animal welfare conditions at breeding establishments.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has announced she also plans to revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions at breeding establishments.
She said: “We are committed to improving animal welfare conditions and ensuring they are protected from harm during the breeding process.
“Puppies and kitten sold by third parties are at greater risk of disease, a lack of socialisation and habituation, and the distress of being introduced to new and unfamiliar environments during multiple journeys.
That’s why we are bringing forward this ban and we’re pleased to see the public agree with it. We have listened to what people have said and will be banning third party sales of puppies and kittens.
We hope a ban will ensure people make an informed choice before purchasing a pet and ensure breeders take responsibility for the animals they are selling.”