Veterinary Record 172:32 doi:10.1136/vr.f59
  • News and reports
  • Companion Animals

Welsh Government gives advice on buying a pet

ADVICE for potential pet owners on how to buy a pet responsibly has been published by the Welsh Government. The advice encourages anyone who is planning to buy a pet dog or cat to take some basic steps, including:

▪Buying the animal from a reputable supplier.

▪Checking the animal's history by speaking to its previous owner or, if buying a puppy or kitten, asking to see it with its mother and the rest of the litter.

▪Viewing the animal and its documentation before it is bought. The Welsh Government points out that if an animal was born outside of the UK it must have either a pet passport or veterinary certificate to confirm that it was vaccinated against rabies at the correct age and according to the vaccine manufacturer's data sheet. For dogs, the passport also needs to show that it has been treated against tapeworms.

The government advises that if a potential owner has any doubts about an animal, they should speak to a veterinary surgeon before agreeing to buy it.

John Griffiths, the Welsh environment minister, said: ‘As we enter a new year some people may be thinking about purchasing a pet dog or cat. I would ask anyone thinking about getting a pet to make sure that they understand what is involved in looking after an animal properly, including the veterinary costs, and to ensure they know where the animal has come from.’

Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, added: ‘We believe that some people are buying and selling dogs and cats that have come from abroad, some of which may have travelled illegally. This puts the health of the animals, and the general public, at risk from diseases including rabies and parvovirus. They may also be advertised in a way that misleads the buyer regarding the animal's history, breed or pedigree.’ She urged people not to buy cats or dogs from an unknown source and to be particularly careful when buying animals advertised on the internet or through local or social media.

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