Puppy sales ban does little to protect animals from dog fighters

A ban on puppy sales by pet shops and other third-party dealers in England is being considered by the Government. Under the proposals, people buying or adopting a dog would deal directly with a breeder or rehoming centre. 

Suzanne Heaney, dog fighting Programme Manager at the League, said: 

“These proposals don’t go far enough; they won’t deter people who’re obtaining dogs for fighting”. 

A range of sources such as ‘free to a good home’ ads, private sales and rescue centres are used by dog fighters to get hold of dogs. To get serious about clamping down on dog fighters the Government needs to: 

  • Quickly bring in the tougher sentences as promised, directing the courts to treat all dog fighting cases as an automatic five year sentence.
  • Introduce a national register of those who’ve been disqualified from keeping animals to make it more difficult for them to get hold of other animals to abuse. It needs to be accessible to the rehoming sector and law enforcement to help them spot unsuitable homes as well as the people who break disqualification orders.
  • Clamp down on ‘free to a good home’ ads, acknowledging that animals aren’t objects to be picked up and disposed of like old furniture.

“Dog fighting really is one of the worst forms of animal abuse, for the cruelty the dogs endure throughout their lives. We need a stronger legislative framework to protect dogs, robust deterrents and tough enforcement for this most hideous of crimes”, said Suzanne.

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