Just back from Clicker Expo – wow! The opportunity to learn from people at the top of their game was invaluable – and fun.
Then back from the sublime learning environment to the real world reading last night’s London Evening Standard. They did an excellent job in a quite a long feature explaining in detail why people shouldn’t purchase dogs online and how to purchase responsibly.
Unfortunately they then featured a woman, suggesting that she was a “victim” of the puppy farming trade, who had done exactly that and who then went on TO BREED FROM THE DOG. Both dam and singleton pup died subsequently.
It is highly unlikely that it will be possible or effective in banning online sales of dogs or regulating purchasing. There is likely to be some redress under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (replaced the Sale of Goods Act 1979) in that a puppy that is sickly and/or that dies shortly after purchase or that is sold as coming from a local breeder or that is not the dog as represented in the online advertising etc is being sold in breach of the law. However, this is both a potential solution in the immediate term and the problem.
Just because dogs are regarded in law as being commodities, they should not be regarded by potential owners as such, to be bought and sold like the latest online fashion. We can’t ban online sales or, in practice, purchases, and we can campaign until we are blue in the face to educate people on responsible puppy purchasing.
We need the additional stick of regulating and, if necessary, prosecuting all breeders, regardless of whether they breed one dog or dozens of litters. The regulations should impose educational conditions on all people seeking to breed who should, at the very least, have a basic knowledge of genetics, undergo compulsory testing of dam and sire under guidance from the latest information, undertake puppy socialisation training and have legal and other guidance with regard to selling.
People who buy from puppy farmers are not victims. They are perpetrators. The real victims are the dogs. Lets us never forget that.