News that the Government is to ban unethical puppy farms in England has been welcomed by the League Against Cruel Sports.

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, announced yesterday that the new regulation means anyone wanting a puppy or kitten will have to deal directly with the breeder or rehoming centre. This would also effectively stop puppies and kittens being sold in pet shops. 

Breeders will only be able to sell puppies they have bred themselves, and anyone selling dogs online will have to publish their licence number and the pet’s country of origin and country of residence.

Andrew Knott, Interim Chief Executive at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: 

“This is a great step by the government to ensuring more responsible ownership of animals. It should be obvious to say that they are not simply commodities to be irresponsibly bred then bought and sold on social media sites, but unfortunately that is often the way they are treated. Millions of dogs are currently languishing in rescue centres waiting for someone to take them home. Rescue centres should always be the first port of call for anyone looking for a pet. 

“The League’s work on dog fighting has shown that dog fighters will use any dog they can easily get hold of then use for fighting. Hopefully this ban will be a step towards reducing the supply of unwanted dogs that they can use.

“The government is making some positive moves on animal welfare, which is good to see. In terms of dog fighting, there’s plenty more that needs to be done. The League wants to see the Government get tougher on disqualification orders as well as create a register of people who have been convicted of animal abuse, which can be used by animal rescue centres to prevent their dogs getting into the wrong hands. At the moment, someone who has been banned from owning a dog can easily get one, which is a major loophole. We also want to see an end to the supply of dogs on social media sites, such as Gumtree.

“We also need police forces to take dog fighting more seriously, and recognise the high level of organised cruelty involved as well as the all-too-often links to wider criminality. They are not being helped by Breed Specific Legislation, which demonises certain breeds of dog and causes a lot of suffering to much loved family pets. Dog fighting is taking place in this country on a regular basis, and we need more support from the Government and Police to put a stop to it.”

Find out more about dog fighting in the UK at www.league.org.uk/dogfighting
 

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