January 3, 2016

The RSPCA has identified a number of problems with the current legislation which regulates the pet trade – covering dogs, cats, rabbits, etc but also exotic animals too. The Pet Animals Act is over 60 years old and needs updating.

Poor breeding, dealing, trading and keeping practices can have a significant impact on animal welfare throughout animals’┬álives, not just for the young being sold but also their parents.

Thankfully, this is an issue where the Government is taking action. In 2016, the Government undertook a consultation on the whole area of licensing for animal activity (including pet sales, dog breeding and cat and dog boarding) in England. It has subsequently begun drafting new Regulations under the Animal Welfare Act that we believe could, if developed and enforced properly, have a substantial impact on this area.

The RSPCA is working with other stakeholders and Defra to develop the Regulations.