Designed to clamp down hard on illegal puppy farming, new regulations on dog breeding in England will come into effect on October 1st. As of that date, any puppy breeder in England must have a license if they intend to make a profit from their pups.
If you are looking to buy a puppy, even to help a friend or neighbour whose bitch has fallen pregnant, you must buy from a licensed breeder in order to comply with the law.
Who needs a license?
Breeders of three or more litters per year MUST have a license, even to sell one puppy in a twelve-month period.
If you are a breeder of 1-2 litters per year who the government deem as advertising the business of breeding/selling dogs in any way, you will also be required to have a license. If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re inadvertently advertising dog breeding, you can read the official guidelines here.
You won’t need a license if you breed from your bitch and do not intend to sell any of the puppies. You may also escape the need for a license if you sell a small number of puppies and do not make a profit from the sale, i.e. you are given a sum of money equal to the costs of primary vaccinations, food and other expenditures that in any way went towards the welfare of the puppy in question.
What does this mean for buyers?
You will need to make sure that the breeder you’re buying from is legitimate and licensed. Dog breeders have to adhere to certain criteria, so you can treat the following as your licensed-breeder checklist:
✓ Breeders must display info on their adverts such as their license number and the authority that issued it.
✓ They will have to include the puppy’s age in their advert, along with a clear photo (that is genuine).
✓ It is also the law that the sale of a puppy should take place in the presence of the buyer. A licensed breeder will therefore not be prepared to conduct a sale over the phone or the internet.
✓ Another great way to tell a genuine breeder from an illegal one is to note how helpful and informative they are. They will be able to provide you with photos, they will let you visit the puppy, they will let you visit the mother and they will provide you with evidence of all necessary treatments and vaccinations.
This is an exciting time in the war against the illegal puppy trade! To save you the stress of an unexpected litter, we do recommend you neuter your bitch unless you have planned to breed from her.
Feel free to contact us for any advice on neutering, along with advice on any of the content in this post.