Crackdown welcomed A LOCAL veterinary hospital has applauded the government’s announcement for its decision to explore a possible ban on third party puppy sales.

Thousands of puppies are sold illegally every year in the UK, and many are brought up in terrible conditions.

Environment secretary Michael Gove recently launched a consultation to seek views on a possible ban in a bid to crack down on illegal puppy sales.

Roberta Duncan, clinical director at Moor Cottage Veterinary Hospital, which is based in Binfield, said the consultation was a welcome move in a bid to stop ‘rogue’ puppy traders.

Ms Duncan said: “We absolutely welcome this move by the Government. Sadly, a large number of young dogs are illegally brought into the UK each year or raised in puppy farms.”

As part of a package of reforms announced by Mr Gove, the government intends to ban licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens younger than eight weeks.

They will also ensure licensed dog breeders show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made as well as tackle the sale of weak, underage puppies and the breeding of unhealthy dogs or those with severe genetic disorders.

Ms Duncan reiterated the need for prospective buyers to ensure they know where puppies come from after it was reported that last year alone, 688 illegally imported dogs were brought into the country, without taking into account puppy farms and rogue breeders within the UK.

She added: “It’s really important to check exactly who you are buying the dog from.

“Buying an illegally imported puppy could potentially cost thousands of pounds in quarantine and treatment, not to mention the emotional heartache if the puppy falls ill.

“These puppies often travel in pretty appalling conditions and arrive here in poor health, which can obviously lead to a number of potentially serious health issues down the line.

“Popular breeds such as Pugs, Dachshunds and French Bulldogs are often targeted by immoral and illegal puppy breeders, so we would urge people to make sure they complete all the necessary background checks when thinking about adding a new four-legged member to their family.”