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Unlicensed breeding and the huge rise in online puppy sales will be targeted by new legislation to be introduced in 2018.
Government plans will mean tougher rules for dog breeding and sales, and stricter enforcement of licensing and breeder inspections.
Details of the proposals were revealed in a Commons debate earlier this month as MPs discussed the sale of puppies in the UK.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food George Eustice said existing laws would be replaced with a stricter licensing regime linked, for the first time, to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Measures to be introduced will include:
Requiring anyone selling dogs online to have a local authority breeder licence.
Tougher measures for commercial dog breeders – anyone breeding three or more litters per year will need a license (down from five).
Requirement for all dog breeders and sellers of all pets to adhere to statutory minimum standards.
New rule that no puppy aged under eight weeks can be sold.
Removal of any licence exemptions for people claiming they are breeding from a pet dog.
Longer licences and fewer inspections for …
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