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KC backs trafficking campaign

The Kennel Club has welcomed the RSPCA campaign to stop the cruel and unethical practice of illegal puppy trafficking and has issued guidelines to show potential puppy buyers how to find a responsible breeder.

Too many puppy buyers are unwittingly feeding the pockets of unscrupulous breeders, or puppy traffickers, who are simply out to make a quick buck and who do not care about the puppies’ welfare, causing them psychological and physical distress.

The Kennel Club has always encouraged puppy buyers to seek out responsible breeders and runs an Accredited Breeder Scheme, whose members have agreed to follow Kennel Club guidelines for breeding and selling their puppies.

The Kennel Club’s Ultimate Guide to Buying a Puppy recommends that buyers should always seek out responsible breeders and includes information about how to spot the signs of a potential puppy trafficker. Many puppy traffickers will:

Separate puppies from their mothers before they are seven weeks old

Ignore guidelines about the maximum frequency of litters

Sell puppies at ‘neutral’ locations instead of from their own homes

Keep the puppies in poor conditions in order to save money

Fail to socialise the puppies

Fail to follow recommended health schemes and ensure their dogs are immunised

Often sell their breeding stock to pet shops, which is why buyers should never buy from these places.

Caroline Kisko, spokesperson for the Kennel Club, said: “The Kennel Club welcomes the RSPCA campaign to stop puppy traffickers. We have been campaigning for the abolition of the selling of puppies through pet shops for a long time and we promote the importance of buying a puppy through a reputable breeder. We advise any potential puppy owner to make sure they see the puppy with its mother and visit the premises where the puppy was bred.

“The Kennel Club’s Accredited Breeder Scheme ensures that breeders make use of health screening schemes on their dogs. Accredited Breeders also socialise the puppies and ensure that dogs are immunised. If every puppy buyer bought from a breeder and saw the puppy with the mother in the home where it was born, then the practice of puppy trafficking would stop overnight."