Following an announcement by the Scottish Government that there will be a consultation about modernising the licensing regime for dog breeders (announced Friday 7 September 2018), the Kennel Club has issued the following statement:
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We have been calling for changes to the licensing regime in Scotland for a long time, in order to better protect dog welfare, and look forward to working with the Scottish Government during this consultation period to ensure that the changes are effective.
“The proposed reduction of the threshold at which a dog breeder requires a licence, from five litters a year to three, will bring the Scottish government in line with the rest of the UK. This will vastly increase the number of breeders requiring a licence and will significantly increase the burden on local authorities in terms of the inspections they are required to carry out.
“As such, we are pleased that the Government has recognised that a risk based system that will recognise good breeders is critical to the success of this new licensing system, and that there is an important role to be played by schemes that are already recognised by UKAS accredited bodies, such as the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme. These breeders are already meeting high welfare standards and by ensuring such breeders are deemed low risk, resources - which are already overstretched - can be freed up to focus on higher risk breeders.
“The proposals recognise that dogs can have genetic problems, or be bred for physical features that can cause health problems, and we welcome measures that will help ensure that dog breeders take reasonable measures to ensure they are breeding healthy puppies. We do have concerns about how effectively such legislation can be enforced, and so we hope there will be a continued drive to inform puppy buyers about how to spot a responsible breeder, which is the central focus of our annual Puppy Awareness Week, currently running this week.
“We will also continue to ask that the Scottish Government considers introducing a ban on the third party sale of puppies, as any responsible breeder should always allow a puppy buyer to see the puppy with its mum, in its home environment.”