The Kennel Club has welcomed the Welsh Assembly's new proposals
that aim to crack down on puppy farmers but has 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
As the 12-week consultation period into the proposals which would
replace the Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act 1973 begins, the Kennel
Club has welcomed many of the measures including the proposal that
breeders should socialise their puppies properly and the principle
of compulsory microchipping but has warned that the Welsh Assembly
risks clamping down on the wrong people.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "The Welsh Assembly
has a great opportunity here to make life difficult for puppy
farmers and we congratulate the Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones,
for her commitment to clamping down on the cruel puppy farming
trade. This is a huge step forward and there is certainly much to
celebrate but we want these measures to succeed and think that
there is still a long way to go. As it stands we fear that local
authority resources will be spent policing small scale responsible
breeders while there is a strong risk that those who dodge the law
will continue to get away scot free."
The current proposals will change the trigger for licensing from 5
or more litters to those who have three breeding bitches and breed
two or more litters a year. It will also cover those with three or
more breeding bitches and who either keep those bitches in what are
seen to be commercial kennels or who supply or sell 10 puppies in a
year. This will result in a significant increase in the number of
small scale breeders who need to be licensed and checked.
Mrs Kisko added: "This is such an important issue and we do not
want to see the Welsh Assembly proposals fall at the first hurdle
but they show lopsided thinking and are targetting the wrong
"Reducing the threshold at which somebody needs to be licensed is
likely to result in a huge increase in the number of breeders who
need to be licensed and checked.
"We cannot see how local authorities, who are already struggling
to do their jobs effectively and who are now facing budget cuts as
well, will be able to cope. This simply plays into the hands of the
puppy farmers because while time is spent checking the premises of
law-abiding hobby breeders the puppy farmers, who do not apply for
licences, will go undetected.
"To ease pressure on resources we are suggesting that members of
the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme are exempt from the need
for licensing, as they are already inspected by the Kennel Club and
agree to follow standards of care that go above and beyond those
proposed by the Welsh Assembly, for example, by health testing
their dogs. There is no point in duplicating each other's efforts
and this will enable local authorities to focus on puppy farmers
who are already avoiding the law.
"We would like to see all puppy buyers going to Kennel Club Accredited Breeders
because reducing the demand for puppy farmed pups and pointing
people in the direction of responsible breeders is the single most
effective way to end the trade.
"We have also offered to train local authority officers so that
they are clear about what to look for when inspecting breeders'
premises, so that the wrong people don't go undetected."
22nd October 2010
Notes to Editors
* The Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme was established in
2004 and its members must agree to follow certain breeding
standards to protect the health and welfare of their puppies. They
must also agree to allow a Kennel Club Breeder Advisor access to
their premises. The Kennel Club is working towards UKAS
Accreditation for this scheme.
The current consultation follows the Welsh Assembly's decision to
ban Electric Shock Collars on 24th March 2010, following extensive
lobbying by the Kennel Club.