news - 11/11/2015 Problem With Unlicensed Dog Breeding - United Kingdom
by Karl Donvil The UK Has a Widespread Problem With Unlicensed Dog Breeding
According to research recently released by the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (http://www.swlondoner.co.uk/unlicensed-dog-breeding-widespread-in-uk-battersea-dogs-cats-home-reveals/), less than 12% of the dogs that are born in the UK each year are born registered to licensed dog breeders. Because of the massively confused breeding legislation within the UK (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1999/11/contents), as well as the huge discrepancies in obtaining breeding licences from region to region, it is easy for illegal and back street breeders to slip through the net. According to Claire Horton, the chief executive for the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, “The gaping hole in enforcement of breeding legislation leave the door wide open for backstreet breeders to own the market and pocket huge profits from over breeding, without a thought for the welfare of the animals in their care.”
Lack of Legislation Enforcement in the UK
This is a huge concern, not only for those puppy enthusiasts looking to purchase a new pet, but also for those legitimate and conscientious breeders who do follow UK legislation and act within the confines of the law. For obvious reasons, purchasing a legitimate and well breed dog will be considerably more expensive than purchasing a dog from a back street breeder. Whilst all vets will recommend that potential dog owners looking to purchase a particular breed of dog look to a legitimate breeder, money is still a factor for many British consumers and sadly they may well choose an illegitimately bred dog in order to save the extra funds.
Those breeding laws that are in place in the UK are often unenforced by overstretched law enforcement officers with more high profile priorities, meaning that puppies can be quite easily breed illegitimately in other EU countries (http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/dogownership/scrappuppytrade) and then imported into the UK. Many unsuspecting consumers may not even realise that the puppies they are purchasing have been bred in such distressing circumstances, simply focusing on the breed and cost of their puppy rather than on its start to life. However purchasing a puppy from a backstreet breeding could well prove to be a false economy: puppies born from mothers that are over breed are often physically weaker and are also more likely to be born with birth defects that could prove to be very costly for their new owners, in terms of medical bills and other veterinary costs. Whilst a good level of pet insurance coverage will protect these owners from the bulk of these bills (http://www.quotezone.co.uk/pet-insurance.htm), the excess they are likely to pay with each claim you make and the increased premiums you will pay if you claim several times a year will still leave you significantly out of pocket when compared to simply paying a higher purchase price for your pet in the first place.
Choosing a Legitimate Dog Breeder
If you’re unsure as to whether the breeder you are planning to purchase from is legitimate or not then the Kennel Club is a great place to start; as well as providing a wealth of useful information for breeders and potential dog owners, the Kennel Club also has its own Assured Breeders Scheme (https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/8277/law.pdf) : these assured breeders agree to follow a series of principals that ensure not only are the puppies that are born healthy and well-adjusted, but their parents are well looked after too. If at all possible, you should always see a puppy with its mother before you purchase it: this relationship is very important (http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/selecting-a-dog/adopting-or-buying-a-dog/16-questions-you-should-ask-the-breeder)and is also one of the main ways to ensure that a puppy has been well breed, rather than farmed and removed from its mother so that she can be forced into carrying another litter before she is ready. The experts at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home are calling for it to be legislature that a puppy cannot be removed from his mother until he is at least 8 weeks old: as a potential puppy consumer you are advised to be very wary of any breeder that offers to let you take a puppy home before this eight week period is completed.
It is important that legislature in the UK surrounding dog breeding is not only tightened, but also that it is enforced more stringently in order to protect not only British consumers, but also to protect those legitimate puppy breeders working so hard within the UK.
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