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Non-registered breeders ‘must be penalised’

The government must introduce compulsory breeding standards to penalise non-registered dog breeders.

Blaming the Kennel Club, which oversees all pedigree matters and organises Crufts, is not the answer. That’s according to pet behaviour specialist Debbie Connolly, star of the BBC television series Dog Borstal and founder of

Connolly recently called for new legislation which includes compulsory health testing, not selling before eight weeks old and lifetime responsibility clauses.

“It needs to be made illegal to breed, sell or give away puppies unless you are a registered and responsible breeder,” says Connolly.

With the BBC, the RSPCA and Pedigree noticeably absent from this year’s Crufts, the debate around responsible breeding was more prominent than ever.

The 2008 BBC documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, showed many dogs suffering from genetically induced illnesses as a result of breeding, including a Spaniel whose skull was significantly smaller than its brain. But blaming the Kennel Club for all irresponsible breeding is not the answer to improving animal welfare, says Connolly. ‘If you look on any free ads site, there are hundreds of people breeding dogs with no registration papers, no proof of the dog’s pedigree and absolutely no health tests,” says Connolly. ‘I estimate around 50 per cent of dogs on these websites have no Kennel Club papers at all. So to blame the Kennel Club for all of the ill and badly bred dogs in the UK is ridiculous. All breeding – pedigree and crossbreed – should be accountable to a compulsory registration scheme.’

Connolly, who founded the SafePets project, is one of the few rescue workers who supports breeders and Crufts.

‘What seems to have been lost in translation is that there are good breeders out there and that the Kennel Club is working towards better and healthier standards of breeding,” says Connolly.
‘However, without government intervention there are always going to be bad breeders who produce mutant puppies and get off scott-free.’

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I'm sorry but I know a breeder that has just had 3 litters from 2 bitched in 18 months and she has a kennel licence from the council and is a accredited breeder and the KENNEL CLUB has allowed all 3 liiters from both bitches to be registered so tell me where this is right then, I rang the kennel club and they said it did not matter as once they have had 6 litters they can't register any more.