Defra and the Kennel Club call for caution when Christmas shopping for kittens and puppies for sale, warning buyers risk fishing for pets

The high demand for puppies and kittens puts Christmas shoppers at risk of being duped by deceptive animal sellers.

Animal welfare experts say families should think twice about buying a pet in the coming weeks with a warning from the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that unscrupulous sellers are looking to exploit the holiday season.

More than a quarter of cat and dog owners in the UK have reported to government officials that they have noticed suspicious sellers or advertisements when buying a cat or dog. This prompted the launch of a new campaign warning the public against petfishing this Christmas.

Fewer animals are visited before they are purchased, warn animal experts

With demand for puppies and kittens reaching record levels due to the pandemic, animal welfare experts warn that many households do not always take the time to complete the appropriate checks in a timely manner in their race to put hand over a new family member.

This includes fewer potential new owners who take the time to visit the seller in person before purchasing, do not take the time to do proper research, or understand the signs of poor animal welfare they have. seen.

Bill Lambert, Kennel Club health and wellness expert, explained, “Buying a puppy is a huge decision and all future owners should do the proper research and have all the facts before they can make a decision. illuminated.

“We know there has been an increase in demand for puppies during the pandemic. The current mismatch between supply and demand can lead to more people being duped by dishonest herders and con artists, and inadvertently feeding low-welfare herders.

There is a mismatch between demand and supply of puppies and kittens
There is a mismatch between demand and supply of puppies and kittens

To avoid being fished by pets, the public is urged to spot essential red flags when searching for vendors, using the acronym SPOT. It is :

1. Seller: Put the seller’s name and details, including phone number, in a search engine – avoid those with multiple listings.

2. Parent: Make sure you see puppies and kittens in their house with their mother.

3. Quite old: Make sure puppies and kittens are at least eight weeks old before bringing them home.

4. Treatment: Ask to see the animal’s health records and avoid vendors who cannot provide them.

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Defra and the Kennel Club warn people to be careful when buying a new pet for Christmas

Chief veterinarian Christine Middlemiss has warned households to be careful.

She said: “Christmas can be a difficult time to move a pet to a new home and it is vitally important that people research not only the breed of animal they want, but also the right person. sells it to them.

“Puppies and kittens raised under conditions of low welfare can often be separated from their mothers too soon, which can lead to serious health and behavior problems, heartache and high vet bills for their newborn. family. We urge people to be vigilant and always do thorough research. animal sellers before coming into contact. “

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