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Kennel Club Delivers Blow to Puppy Farmers

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As it announces Accredited Breeder Scheme developments

The Kennel Club has warned puppy buyers to be aware of the difference between responsible breeders and puppy farmers and has announced significant developments to its Accredited Breeder Scheme, which will help to further secure the schemes place as a kite-mark of quality in the dog breeding world and to edge puppy farmers out of business.

The Kennel Clubs Accredited Breeder Scheme now has over 3,000 members and to ensure that the Kennel Clubs high standards for dog breeding are maintained, the Kennel Club will appoint a network of Regional Breeder Advisors to visit and assess local AB premises across the country. In addition, the Kennel Club will reward those who are setting an exemplary benchmark for good breeding practice, within the scheme, by awarding Accredited Breeder of Excellence titles.

Accredited Breeders have all agreed to sign up to Kennel Club standards for responsible breeding, which include following guidelines about the maximum age and frequency of litters, providing post-sales advice and giving their dogs the recommended health tests for their breed. Puppy farmers, by contrast, are unscrupulous breeders who remain outside of the scheme and who breed dogs purely for profit and without regard for their dogs health and welfare.

These steps, which will further set apart Accredited Breeders from less responsible breeders, follows the Kennel Clubs call on the government, earlier in the month, to give it the statutory powers to make the schemes requirements compulsory throughout the country. This means that those who have not officially confirmed their willingness to follow the health standards set by the Kennel Club would be unable to produce or sell puppies within the law.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: As part of its programme of continual improvement and following feedback from scheme members and supportive Breed Clubs the Kennel Club has announced some important developments to its Accredited Breeder Scheme. These will help to ensure that the scheme is recognised nationally as a bastion of quality and excellence in dog breeding and will further help the public to distinguish between good and bad breeders, so that they can make responsible choices when they are buying a dog.

We recently asked the government for the statutory powers to enforce our Accredited Breeder Scheme nationally, which would mean that puppy farmers who do not subscribe to our high standards will be forced to show their hand and would be breeding and selling their puppies outside of the law.

Even without these statutory powers these announcements today mean that puppy buyers can be assured, now more than ever, that Accredited Breeders are following standards that guarantee that a puppys health and welfare is their number one priority.

Our advice to anybody thinking of buying a puppy is to go to a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder. They should certainly never go to a pet shop, whose stock may come from puppy farmers, or buy from somebody who is selling from neutral territory, such as a service station, where the puppies are not seen in their home environment and where they are not given the opportunity to see the puppy with their mothers.

Under the new steps announced by the Kennel Club breed clubs will also be invited to nominate breed mentors, as expert advisors to educate both novice breeders and puppy buyers about their breed.

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