The sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops may soon be banned in England.
The government proposal, which is currently under consultation, would mean that people interested in buying a cat or dog that’s younger than six months will have to go directly to a breeder or rescue centre.
A law banning the third-party sale of puppies or kittens less than eight weeks old will take effect on October 1 in England.
Pet shops are establishments with a government license to sell pets but are not licensed pet breeders.
Why is the UK banning the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops?
The ban seeks to protect the welfare of puppies and kittens and put an end to puppy farming
“There are concerns that commercial third-party sales lead to poorer welfare conditions for the animals compared to when people buy directly from the breeder,” said the proposal.
Currently, puppies and kittens can be purchased by a third-party seller or directly from a breeder. There are no records on the number of puppies sold via third-parties but estimates say sales go between 40,000 to 80,000 per year in Great Britain.
How does England compare to other countries in Europe?
In Italy, the sale of puppies younger than two-months old is illegal. France has a similar law banning the sale of puppies and kittens younger than eight weeks old.
Spain doesn't have a common law for the entire country, but the law for the Madrid region says that puppies and kittens must be minimum three months old before being sold.