Puppy Farming

Support our campaign against puppy farming

The Kennel Club is campaigning to end the cruel practice of puppy farming

The Kennel Club defines puppy farmers as intensive volume breeders who have little regard or consideration for the basic needs and care for the dogs concerned.
Puppy farmers will:

  • Separate puppies from their mothers too early
  • Ignore guidelines about the maximum frequency of litters
  • Sell puppies at 'neutral' locations instead of from their own homes
  • Keep the puppies in poor conditions in order to save money
  • Fail to socialise the puppies
  • Fail to follow recommended breed specific health schemes
  • Fail to ensure their pups are immunised and wormed
  • Sell their breeding stock to pet shops

The Kennel Club sits as part of the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG), a group made up of leading animal welfare organisations and the Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), working to improve the standards of and promote responsible pet advertising. Visit www.paag.org.uk if you are looking to buy a pet or if you have recently purchased an animal. The consumer advice pages cover a wide range of topics from "where to get a Labrador puppy" to "how to care for your rabbit". Anyone who has bought an animal from a classified advert or website that has turned out to be a poorly or problem pet is advised to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or visit their website www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Consumerrights/index.htm .

The Kennel Club is calling for:

  1. The standards and principles of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme (formerly the Accredited Breeder Scheme) to be mandatory throughout the country. Our Assured Breeder Scheme strives to raise breeding standards and indicate responsible breeders to potential puppy-buyers. Assured Breeders offer health tests, follow KC breed standards and agree to allow KC Inspectors' access to their premises for spot-checks.
  2. A review of the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, to prohibit the sale of puppies in pet shops under pet welfare legislation.
  3. The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended by the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999) to be consistently enforced across all UK authorities.

In 2009, we presented a petition to the government in support of these principles, which contained more than 15,000 signatures.

We are committed to educating the public on this issue so that puppy buyers will know how to distinguish clearly between responsible breeders and puppy farmers. We are also working to inform Local Authorities about the resources available to prosecute breeders suspected of bad practice.

Campaign update

On October 22nd 2010 the Welsh Assembly announced a 12 week consultation period to consider the introduction of new legislation that aims to crack down on puppy farmers. The Kennel Club welcomed the Welsh Assembly's proposals but warned that in the face of budget cuts it should not expend resources over-regulating responsible breeders, if the measures are to have any chance of succeeding. Click here to read a full press release on the issue.

The Kennel Club commends the lead that the Welsh Assembly Government has taken in trying to make life difficult for puppy farmers but feels that if the legislation is to succeed it is vital that responsible breeders are encouraged to continue breeding. For example, members of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme who go far above and beyond the proposed regulations and what is accepted as good breeding practice, are already subject to inspection and incur great expense in ensuring that they breed happy, healthy puppies.

We believe that members of such schemes should be exempt from the licensing conditions to save on local authority resources in doubling up work. With any new legislation it is vital to strike the right balance of stopping puppy farming practices whilst not also penalising reputable and responsible breeders. In July 2011 the Kennel Club welcomed an announcement by newly appointed Welsh Environment Minister, John Griffiths to consult further on dog breeding regulations in Wales in order to ensure any new legislation "is not burdensome on those breeders who fully meet the welfare needs set out in the Animal Welfare Act". Discussions will now be held over the coming months, with a view to consulting on the amended legislation during the autumn. Details of the proposed regulations can be found here.

What can I do?

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Related Topics

Animal Welfare ActAssured Breeder SchemePuppy Farming

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