UK Puppies May Soon Only Be Sold With Their Mothers Present

As a way to crack down on what she called the “disturbing” puppy mill industry, Prime Minister Theresa May has proposed new laws that will improve animal welfare in the UK.

These laws, expected to go into effect early this year, include the following new regulations:

  • Licensed commercial dog breeders must show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made.
  • To prevent online sales where buyers aren’t able to see the puppies, sales must be completed on the premises with the new owner present.
  • Licensed dog breeders can only sell puppies they have bred themselves.
  • Breeders advertising puppies for sale will have to include their license number along with the country where the puppies were born and wherethe puppies now live.
  • Licenses will be required for anyone who breeds more than two litters a year.
  • The sale of puppies, as well as kittens and rabbits, that are younger than 8 weeks old would be prohibited.

“The arrival of a happy, healthy puppy, as I know myself, is a memorable time for a family,” said May, who grew up with a poodle and a Lab mix. “But it’s absolutely right we do everything we can to eradicate animal cruelty from our society.”

These new laws would be the biggest change in “pet vending” in 66 years, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

“This is good news for the hundreds of thousands of dogs bought and sold in England every year, Michael Ward, RSPCA interim chief executive, said in a statement. Last year, RSPCA inspectors rescued hundreds of puppies and breeding dogs being kept in “miserable, squalid conditions by heartless people cashing in on the growing market for puppies,” Ward said.

In fact, 2017 was the busiest year in the RSPCA’s 194-year history for investigating complaints relating to the puppy trade. It received 4,125 calls from England, almost a 12 percent increase from 2016.

In the United States, there are currently an estimated 10,000 puppy mills, according to the ASPCA. To help crack down on these operations, which the ASPCA says place profits over the well being of the dogs, more than 200 cities and counties, including Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, have enacted laws that allow pet stores to only sell puppies and kittens from local animal shelters — not those bought from possibly unscrupulous breeders.

Here’s another scary example of why it’s not a good idea to buy puppies from pet stores that may have obtained them from shady breeders: Nearly 100 people have recently been sickened with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection and many of those people had been in contact with puppies from the Petland store chain.

Wherever you live, there’s one effective way you can personally help crack down on cruel puppy mills: If you want to add a four-legged family member, adopt, don’t shop.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Nicole Heindryckx

@ Frances Bell : each "normal" human being will understand that it means 2 litters PER DOG ! Why ? Because dogs are twice in heat each year, or did you never have a female dag ?? And loopholes ? Each law, in every country, has loopholes. How can you explain o'wise that an average working man / woman pays the full pot of taxes, and the CEO's and others like doctors, dentists, lawyers, and many others have so many "expenses" that they only pay a max. of 30 to 40 % of their taxes ?? Because they have bookkeepers and we can't afford a good one.

@ Deborah W : it's not the intention that you just see a photo of the mom dog. You should see the mom together with her litter, and for people who use their brains, they should also see to the environment where the mom and her litter is put. In a garage ? In a shelter box in the garden ? Then forget about it !!

@ Clare O : About Amish people : why should they not run puppy mills like so many others ? They are just people - with a special twist to the Christian religion - just like all other. However, on Nat. Geo, I've seen 2 docu's on Amish people, but never seen a dog. So, who will tell ??

Nicole Heindryckx

Something additional I forgot to say : seeing the mother of the puppies is a big step forward. However, when you buy a puppy of 7/8 weeks, who never has seen another person than the breeder is no good either. So when you go to see some puppies, better you go WITH your children and husband / friend etc.. So you can see how this mother dog and her puppies react to strange people. ALSO, it is better that you see the dog & her puppies in a normal environment, viz. the living room, kitchen etc.. Dogs staying in a garage lack human contact and will show more problems than puppies who lived in a family environment. And first inform yourself very good before buying a friend FOR LIFE !!

Nicole Heindryckx

Of course, I still go for adoption of the thousands of poor dogs and cats that are for weeks or months in a kennel. But I understand that some people prefer to have a puppy, as they can raise it to their wishes, and don't buy the misery of someone else. We experienced this with our 2nd shepherd dog. She had been trained what we call "the appache", this is a dog who will attack someone who is coming on your yard (even the postman, etc..) but will not release the "victim" unless you give him/her a firm command to do so. Many young lads start this training, but give up after a few months, so you adopt a dog who will attack, but not release so easily because they did no learn this. But the measures taken by Mrs. May must be applauded. Of course there wil still be some sales on the "black market", but it will certainly be much less.

Georgina M
Georgina M6 days ago

Good news for puppies

sandy Gardner
sandy Gardner6 days ago

Good for UK!

cristiano torchio

hang by the balls these animal torturers

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill6 days ago

good first step!

joan silaco
joan silaco7 days ago

I wonder low that would work here?

Janis K
Janis K7 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

Angelflowers D
Angelflowers D7 days ago

Marvelous.....very comforting to know...