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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to adopt rescue dogs rather than buy from breeders.

Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Rescue and rehoming centres carry out important work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned animals in the UK are offered the opportunity of a forever home. We advise those seeking to acquire a new dog to first consider adopting from a reputable dog rescue and rehoming centre. However, we appreciate that a number of prospective owners would like a puppy and may have a specific breed in mind. That is why in 2018 the Government updated and improved the regulations on dog breeding in England. This included introducing strict statutory welfare standards that all licensed dog breeders must meet. In addition, from 6 April 2020 it will be an offence for commercial third party sellers to sell puppies or kittens, which are defined as under the age of 6 months. These steps aim to improve the welfare of dogs.

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