Implement a stricter law on minimum age for puppies to leave a breeders home in the UK.
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At present, under the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 and Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, there is a law stating that a puppy must stay with the litter until it reaches the age of 8 weeks old. This law only covers those breeders who have a license, and only covers those breeders who sell to licensed pet shops or rearing establishments, meaning that it is technically legal to sell puppies on at ANY age to families and buyers outwith these establishments. There is no blanket to cover "hobby breeders", and no set laws in place to protect both breeders and dogs being sold. It is vital that new puppies stay with their mother until at least 8 weeks old to learn bite inhibition, receive vital nutrients and to aid development properly.
It has come to our attention that a reality star was sold a puppy at 5 weeks from a breeder and then had it outdoors with no vaccinations. The said reality star has been accused of paying extra to receive the puppy before the 8 week mark was reached. The rottweiler puppy then caught an infection, and had to have a leg amputated. The puppy died soon after. This is a combination of unethical breeding, and negligence from both parties, which could have been solved if there were a strict law enforced, with real penalties, to stop the selling of puppies before they reach an age that they can leave their litter and venture into the public.
Many breeders around the UK follow an ethical code, ensuring that all puppies stay at the breeders home until at least 8 weeks and receive basic vet health checks, and at least their first DHP injection and worming treatment before being sold. The optimum age to leave the litter would be between 8-12 weeks to allow for proper development and for them to receive the vaccinations appropriate to reduce the risk of fatal diseases such as Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus at the discretion of the buyer.
We ask that a law be put in place to ensure that all puppies leaving a breeders home - licensed or hobbyist - must be over the age of 8 weeks, and have at least the basic vet health checks recorded as standard to stop this happening again in future. We ask that you amend the current Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act, or create a new act that protects hobby breeders, the puppies they are selling and the buyers of these puppies, and enforce stricter penalties for those who disobey the Acts.
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