Kennel Club becomes the first and only organisation in the UK to
get United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation to
certify dog breeders.
- As many as one in five could be buying from cruel puppy
- Move recommended by Professor Bateson in his independent report
into dog breeding.
Puppy buyers no longer need to be duped by rogue breeders, as
the Kennel Club today announces that it is the only organisation in
the UK to receive UKAS accreditation to certify breeders who belong
to its Assured Breeder Scheme. The puppy breeding market is poorly
regulated, meaning that many people struggle to identify good from
bad breeders, often ending up with sick puppies that die
prematurely or that cost thousands of pounds in veterinary
UKAS accreditation means that the Kennel Club now has
recognition from the UK's foremost accreditation body to certify
breeders, against the requirements of its Assured Breeder Scheme,
and ensure that scheme members take all the necessary steps to
breed quality, healthy puppies.
Accreditation by UKAS was recommended by Professor Sir Patrick
Bateson, in the Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding in January
2010, as an important step to give puppy buyers a clear indication
of who they should trust, as there is too much confusion in the
puppy buying market and too many rogue breeders. Since the report,
the situation has got even worse with people taking advantage of
the relaxation of pet travel laws, which makes it easier to bring
sickly pups into the country from abroad.
Kennel Club research has shown that many consumers buy their
puppies from pet shops, online and newspaper free ads, outlets that
can all be used by puppy farmers who breed purely for profit
without any thought for the outcome of the puppies that they
produce. Many puppy farmers do not let buyers see their premises
and sell through dealers, going to great lengths to hide the awful
conditions that the puppies are kept in - and Kennel Club research
indicates that as many as one in five people may have bought their
puppy from a puppy farm.
Professor Steve Dean, Kennel Club Chairman, said: "For far too
long, puppy buyers have had little assurance about the puppy they
take home, and especially how it has been raised and whether it
will live a healthy and happy life.
"The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme was established in 2004
to help end this confusion, and is the only scheme in the UK that
monitors breeders' activities to provide assurance on their
commitment to health and welfare. We had been working closely with
UKAS prior to Professor Bateson recommending we seek UKAS
accreditation, and are delighted that we have now been granted
this, enabling us to certify breeders under this robust scheme.
"The message is clear. Puppy buyers who want to be sure that
they are going to a breeder who offers a genuinely high standard of
health and welfare in caring for their dogs should go to a Kennel
Club Assured Breeder."
Professor Sir Patrick Bateson commented: "My report into dog
breeding in this country showed an urgent need for a robust
accreditation scheme for breeders. The fact that the Kennel Club
has now received UKAS recognition for its Assured Breeder Scheme is
an important step forward and the buying public should be
encouraged to purchase from these breeders, so as to put
irresponsible breeders out of business."
Marc Abraham, TV vet and organiser of the annual Pup Aid event
against puppy farming, said: "The number of puppies coming from
puppy farms is growing at an alarming rate. The value of having an
organisation such as the Kennel Club with independent accreditation
to certify breeders should not be underestimated.
"I hope that all puppy buyers will stop buying from people that
may be masquerading as good breeders, but who are not part of this
scheme and that all responsible dog breeders sign up to the Assured
Breeder Scheme so vets and vet nurses can direct prospective buyers
towards them knowing they'll be choosing a happy, healthy
The Kennel Club has been through numerous audits with UKAS and
made a number of amendments to the scheme to achieve recognition by
UKAS as a competent evaluator, which has met international
In an important move that helps the Kennel Club to fulfil its UKAS
requirements, every new member of the scheme will be inspected
before they are accepted, and all current members will be inspected
within three years. Random checks will continue as in the past,
particularly where any concerns are highlighted or when issues have
been raised through feedback from puppy buyers.
Other long-standing rules of the scheme which remain include
ensuring that all animals are kept and raised in good conditions,
both parents are assessed using the appropriate health and DNA
tests before they are bred from, and ensuring that the puppies are
well socialised before going to new homes.
Last month the Kennel Club announced a set of updated rules
forming the ABS Standard, which contain all of the compulsory
requirements of the scheme. These revised rules retained many of
the long-standing requirements of the scheme, but the wording was
modified to add clarity about the exact requirements for members to
The Kennel Club will shortly be announcing a plan to demonstrate
the impact that UKAS accreditation will have. As a transitional
arrangement, this will include a system for clearly identifying
which breeders have been visited under the Kennel Club's new
accredited status. There will also be a plan for offering further
incentives to Assured Breeders and for covering the inevitable
costs of increased inspections.
Bill Lambert, Kennel Club Health and Breeder Services Manager,
said: "Responsible dog breeders are passionate about producing
puppies which live healthy, happy lives, and they fulfil all the
expectations that responsible owners demand. But it is only Kennel
Club Assured Breeders that are bound to this commitment by agreeing
to mandatory health testing of their breeding animals, by opening
their doors to allow inspection and by being committed to providing
a service to puppy buyers throughout the life of the animal. Indeed
many of our members go above and beyond the scheme's
"The scheme has continually developed since its inception, which
meant that the further changes we needed to make to achieve formal
accreditation by UKAS were straightforward. The greatest change is
still to come as we increase the number of breeder assessment
visits that we carry out so that there can be no doubt that those
on the scheme are continuing to adopt the standards that we
"We again urge all responsible breeders to join the Kennel Club
Assured Breeder Scheme, which is the simplest and easiest way for
us all to work together and ensure that puppy buyers find a
responsible breeder and are not duped by somebody who is less
committed to breeding healthy dogs. The scheme does not make any
money for the Kennel Club; we have in fact subsidised the costs of
the scheme for many years, but running it is just another example
of how the Kennel Club makes a difference for dogs."