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Ban on third party puppy sales under consideration
BVA president John Fishwick said: “As vets we see first-hand the tragic consequences that can result from poorly bred puppies."
Michael Gove announces call for evidence 

A ban on third party puppy sales is being considered by the government, environment secretary Michael Gove announced today (8 February).

Interested parties are being asked to share their views on a possible ban and how this could be introduced. Banning third party sales would mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a dog would either deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre.

Mr Gove commented: “We need to do everything we can to make sure the nation’s much loved pets get the right start in life. From banning the sale of underage puppies to tackling the breeding of dogs with severe genetic disorders, we are cracking down on sellers who have a total disregard for their dogs’ welfare.

“This is a further step to raise the bar on animal welfare standards. We are also introducing mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses and increasing maximum prison sentences tenfold for animal abusers.”

A raft of other measures to crack down on backstreet breeding, set out by the Prime Minister in December, were also laid in parliament today.

Coming into force later this year, the measures include a ban on selling puppies and kittens under eight weeks and compulsory licensing for anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs. Puppy sales must also be completed in the presence of the new owner, and puppies must be shown with their mother before a sale is made.

The move has been welcomed by veterinary organisations and animal charities including the BVA, RSPCA, Mayhew and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “As vets we see first-hand the tragic consequences that can result from poorly bred puppies so it’s encouraging to see the government announce this raft of measures to improve dog welfare.

“We support the principle that puppies should not be sold by third parties, but this is a complex area that must consider advertising, internet sales and pet owners’ buying habits to ensure illegal puppy sales won’t be driven underground.”

Mr Fishwick added that legislation must be backed by enforcement, so local authorities must be given adequate resources to guarantee dog welfare.

The government also recently consulted on plans to increase maximum prison sentences for animal abusers, from six months to five years.

Responses to the call for evidence on third party puppy sales must be received by 2 May 2018. To take part in the consultation, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-third-party-sales-of-pets-in-england-call-for-evidence

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Survey seeks to learn about racehorse aftercare

News Story 1
 The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is launching a survey to improve understanding of aftercare for thoroughbreds. The survey has been emailed to trainers, who are asked to share their own experiences, with a focus on life after horses finish their racing careers. It forms part of an equine health and welfare strategy being developed by the BHA. 

News Shorts
Charity welcomes new ambassadors

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has appointed the actor Anthony Head and renowned canine behaviourist, Sarah Fisher, as official ambassadors. They join existing ambassadors Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden, David Gandy and Jacqueline Wilson.

Anthony is best known for his roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Iron Lady and Girlfriends. He has previously lent his voice to Battersea’s videos and appeals, as well as performing readings at the charity’s Christmas Carol Concert and Collars & Coats Gala Ball.

Meanwhile Sarah has worked across all three of the charity’s centres, offering advice in dealing with a variety of complex and challenging dogs. She has also fostered several Battersea animals and trained many members of staff in using the Tellington Touch method of training, to keep dogs calm and relaxed.