Animal welfare Regulations

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations came into force on October 1st to strengthen animal welfare focusing mainly on puppy sales in England.

The new Regulations will:

  • Ensure breeders must show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made.
  • Tighten regulations so puppy sales are completed in the presence of the new owner – preventing online sales where prospective buyers have not seen the animal first.
  • Ban licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens younger than eight weeks of age.
  • Regulate adverts, including on the internet, by ensuring licensed sellers of all pets include the seller’s licence number, country of origin and country of residence of the pet in any advert for sale.
  • Introduce a new “star rating” for dog breeders, pet shops and others to help people rate them on their animal welfare standards

The star rating system (scored out of five) will rate dog breeders, pet shops and other licensed activities involving animals on welfare and other grounds. It is hoped this will help buyers use the best breeders, as well as allowing local authorities to regulate the poorer rated.