Consultation for Children and Young People on a Ban on Commercial Third Party Sales of Puppies and Kittens


The Welsh Government is asking children and young people to give their views on banning commercial third party selling of puppies and kittens up to six months old.  

The term ‘commercial’ means a business that makes money. Third-party sellers are pet shops and other traders who do not own the ‘mum’ so have not bred the litter themselves (raised the puppies or kittens from when they were born).  They operate as ‘middlemen’ between the breeders and the people buying a pet. Third party sellers need a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951.
Commercial third party sales may be linked with poorer welfare conditions (not looked after as well as they should be) for puppies and kittens compared to buying from the breeder. For example, taking the animal on different journeys and making them stay in different places could lead to more chance of them getting sick. They may also struggle to get on with other animals because they have not been able to mix with them or settle in to their forever home because they are not used to people giving them attention or playing with them.

There are also worries that people buying puppies and kittens from commercial third party sellers do not think about it properly or do their research first. This is bad, not only for the animal but also for the owners.  They may have vet bills they were not expecting or problems with introducing their puppy to other dogs and getting settled in their homes. Because of this some owners think that the dog is behaving badly and feel they cannot keep it.
Last year we asked people to help us decide where the Welsh Government should get involved in the breeding industry to deal with any worries about animal welfare. Most of the people who responded agreed commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens should stop/be banned. They also made suggestions about other things which would help make improvements for puppies and kittens. These are also being looked at.

The Welsh Government believes a ban would;

> Make sure the Welsh Government’s advice that purchasers should seek to see the puppies or kittens with their mother is followed
> Get people in dog breeding businesses to make welfare improvements by making sure they are responsible for their actions.
> Help people buying puppies or kittens to make the right choices based on research and seeing a puppy or kitten with its mother
> Reduce the sale of puppies which have not been bred to the standards of welfare asked for in Wales.

Anyone wanting to buy a puppy or kitten in Wales will need to buy from a breeder or adopt from a rehoming centre.   By making sure breeders only sell direct to the public, it will make it easier to see any problems with breeding businesses and puppies and kittens will not need to go on as many journeys.
A very important part of this law is to encourage responsible breeding and to make sure puppies are bred in suitable conditions. To help them become good pets’ puppies need to be introduced to different dogs and people from an early age, as well as play with them to build their skills and keep them active.

The law recently changed in England so from 6th April only the breeder is allowed to sell puppies and kittens up to the age of 6 months.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are working on changes to the future system.

What do we need from you?

If the Welsh Government is to make a difference in Wales, we want to make sure people cannot take advantage of any gaps in the law, so your comments are really valuable in shaping the next steps.

This is why we are asking you for your opinion and also to provide us with any examples you may have which may help us better understand the situation.

Please provide as much detail as possible and any supporting evidence.

We want to stop people selling puppies and kittens as a business if they do not own the ‘mum’. This is known as a ‘commercial third party seller’.


We call places such as cats/ dogs homes, animal shelters and animal rescue centres, Animal Welfare Establishments. They charge an adoption fee for rehoming abandoned animals. Animal Welfare Establishments are not licensed so there are no laws requiring checks to be done.

We are concerned some pet sellers who sell puppies and kittens they have not bred themselves will call themselves Animal Welfare Establishments so the new law we are proposing would not apply to them. We need to make sure this does not happen.

Additional Information
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