Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Battersea: Please don't let puppies keep being sold by pet shops!

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Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Battersea: Please don't let puppies keep being sold by pet shops!

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Why this petition matters

As a dog lover, I’m both shocked and disappointed that according to their recent comments quoted in Dog World newspaper (11/01/17), Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, and Battersea do not support a ban on the sale of puppies in pet shops. This not only contradicts their own advice not to buy from a pet shop and to always see a puppy with the mother, but is in direct opposition to the RSPCA’s revised position and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee’s recommendation to Government that the third party selling of puppies should be banned.

Equally I am extremely concerned that these charities may be lobbying Government to dismiss calls for a ban based on assumptions that cannot be supported by any evidence. Such as:

  • A ban would drive trade 'underground'. Buyers looking for family pets will not seek out an illegal black market as they can easily obtain a puppy through visible mainstream channels.
  • How would a ban be enforced? There is strong evidence to demonstrate that illegal sellers can already be identified through their adverts. Once third party selling is a prohibited activity, it can be enforced by the normal enforcement agencies such as police, HMRC, public complaints.
  • A ban won't solve all breeding problems/tackle puppy trade in its entirety. The market currently enables/encourages volume production of puppies cheaply, taking no responsibility for their future. No strategies to improve dog breeding will be successful unless this element is legislatively removed.

The negative impact of selling puppies away from their mothers, e.g. in licensed pet shops, including garden centres and dealers, is well documented, scientifically proven, and contributes to serious welfare problems, both physical and psychological, for puppies and their parents. 

Given that, by definition, responsible breeders NEVER sell their puppies through pet shops or dealers, puppies sold in this manner are sourced from irresponsible breeders and puppy farmers. Puppy farming is a scourge on canine welfare in the UK - but third party puppy selling allows puppy farming to exist behind closed doors.

The unavoidable negative impact of the trade on animal welfare means that third party selling can never be sufficiently improved to a point where it would be acceptable. That’s why banning the sale of puppies away from their mothers would easily have the biggest impact on ending the cruel factory farming of dogs and would also eliminate the market for imported puppies bred outside of UK regulations.

To achieve an end to puppy farming we need consensus of support for a ban. So, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, and Battersea please do the right thing for the dogs and support a ban on puppies sold by pet shops and other third parties so we can finally make some progress in this urgent fight against puppy farming.


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