Cats Protection has welcomed proposals for a change in the law on pet sales after over 47,000 supporters backed its campaign to protect kittens sold by those more motivated by money than welfare.
The recommendations in a government review of animal establishments will mean anyone operating a business selling pets will require a license – marking a major step forward in improving feline welfare. The proposals come just weeks after Cats Protection’s True Cost of Kittens campaign.
Launched in October, the campaign highlighted the growing kitten market and call for change in the laws to protect cats and kittens. Since then, over 40,000 supporters have contacted their MP to ask for support – an average of 60 letters per MP – and more than 7,000 supporters sent postcards to the Minister at Defra calling for a change in the law.
Proposed changes in the government report, published today, will include licencing requirements for anyone selling pets as a business and an end to the sale of kittens under 8 weeks old.
Licensing requirements will also apply to ‘animal activities’ rather than individual establishments, making it much clearer that online sales of kittens could be considered as a business activity requiring a license.
Cats Protection’s Advocacy Manager Jacqui Cuff said the new recommendations are vital in addressing the issue of commercial kitten sales.
“We launched our True Cost of Kittens campaign to call on the government to ban the sales of kittens under 8 weeks old and impose licensing conditions on those who breed and sell cats commercially.”
Jacqui added: “We are delighted that Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Maggie Roberts, is on the expert group. It is hugely encouraging that the government has listened to our concerns. We will continue to work with the government on details of the proposal to license for the right to maximise protection when kittens are sold commercially.