The Countryside Alliance has welcomed the decision by the Government to allow responsible dog breeders to have up to two litters a year before being licensed.

The current law allows dog breeders have up to four litters a year before needed a licence. There have been calls for significant changes to the law with some even calling for those who have just one litter of puppies a year to have to register with their local authority and display their registration number when advertising. The Countryside Alliance made representations to the Government requesting that any changes not be too burdensome on responsible small scale hobby breeders.

This week, in response to a Government consultation, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs published a “Next steps” report stating that four litter limit would be reduced to two.

Responding to the Government’s decision, Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner, said:

“While fully supportive of the Government’s determination to improve welfare standards. The calls for all breeders to have to register with their local authority, even those who produce only one litter, would have been overly burdensome of hobby breeders and we are glad that the more extreme calls have been rejected by the Government.

“This law effects many farmers and breeders of working dogs and we are glad with the Government’s common sense based approach to modified the current law.

“Puppy farming is a serious welfare issue and the Alliance supports any moves to tackle it. It is widely accepted, however, that the hobby breeding of working dogs is generally carried out to high welfare standards and we believe that licensing breeders who produce fewer than three litters would have been overly draconian and a waste of scarce resources.”

Please read the Government report.