Pets

Pet buyers should report dodgy sellers, says UK’s top vet – The Guardian

Summary

Would-be pet owners should blow the whistle on dodgy sellers, the UK’s leading vet has suggested, as figures reveal practices are seeing growing numbers of pets presenting with conditions linked to suspected low welfare breeding.

The Covid pandemic has fuelled a boom in pet ownership. However, research from the Kennel Club has suggested one in four pandemic puppy owners might inadvertently have bought their pet from a puppy farm.

<p class="dc…….

npressfetimg-1547.png

Would-be pet owners should blow the whistle on dodgy sellers, the UK’s leading vet has suggested, as figures reveal practices are seeing growing numbers of pets presenting with conditions linked to suspected low welfare breeding.

The Covid pandemic has fuelled a boom in pet ownership. However, research from the Kennel Club has suggested one in four pandemic puppy owners might inadvertently have bought their pet from a puppy farm.

Asked whether prospective owners should report suspicious adverts to trading standards officials, the UK’s chief veterinary officer agreed.

“Even if, for some reason, there isn’t direct action taken in that case, it’s building the intelligence that we have to know what’s going on,” Christine Middlemiss told the Guardian. “And if people don’t tell us … it’s much harder to get a handle on what is going on out there so we can build the case to have more enforcement or further refine the legislation.”

Animal charity PDSA said potential buyers seeing a suspicious advert online should report it to the hosting website, alert the RSPCA if there are welfare concerns, and flag disquiet that the breeder may not have a licence – or be failing to live up to its terms – to the local authority.

According to a new survey, 88% of 175 members of the British Veterinary Association and British Veterinary Nursing Association reported seeing an increase in pets with problems linked to low welfare breeding conditions. They also felt that many owners were unaware that their pet’s problems might be linked to low welfare breeding practices.

Another survey – conducted by Opinion Matters – found of 1,009 UK respondents who have ever bought a cat or dog, just 31% said they would feel very confident they could spot the signs of poor practices. Meanwhile 27% said they noticed a suspicious seller or advert while buying their last pet.

Middlemiss said it was important to educate potential buyers about what to look out for, adding there is often an increase in people wanting to buy puppies and kittens around Christmas.

As part of such efforts the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has launched a video to warn would-be pet owners about unscrupulous sellers.

“Deceitful sellers known as Petfishers use all kinds of tricks to mislead buyers putting lots of money ahead of an animal’s welfare,” says a plummy voiced ginger cat, while a long-haired feline – sitting on a lap that looks like it might well belong to the Bond villain Ernst Blofeld – adds, “and I thought I was evil”.

The video, which is part of the government’s Petfished campaign, which is supported by organisations including the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Cats Protection, follows the introduction of Lucy’s Law …….

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/nov/18/pet-buyers-should-report-dodgy-sellers-says-uks-top-vet