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Protecting Christmas Kittens

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Photo: Timothy Warrington

Following questioning in Parliament by Rob Marris MP, the government has indicated that it is looking at closing legal loopholes that currently allows owners to breed and sell kittens from the family cat repeatedly without getting a licence.

In answer to a written question tabled by Rob, DEFRA minister Mr George Eustice MP confirmed that the government “is in the process of reviewing the animal establishment licensing schemes” – including licences which regulate the selling of pets. One of our proposals is to remove the exemption whereby someone can sell any number of pedigree animals without a licence if they have been bred from the family pet.”  

Given that only about 10% of kittens sold are pedigrees and the remaining 90% “moggies” Rob has asked for further clarification that the Government will also tighten the law for those breeding the family moggy repeatedly and selling the kittens.

Rob commented: “The loophole of repeatedly breeding and selling these kittens without a licence has been exploited by an unscrupulous few, leading to some kittens being wrenched from their mothers at far too young an age.  I am pleased to see that the government has listened to reason, and is planning to introduce much tighter licensing.   I will be pressing the government to try to ensure that these new licences come with strict conditions – to stop the cruel premature sale of kittens.”

Cats Protection said: “We believe that the breeding and sale of kittens in poor welfare conditions is becoming more of a problem than ever before, and so we are thrilled that the Government has indicated that it is looking at the legislation governing the licensing pet sales and plans to include a condition that bans the sale of kittens under 8 weeks old.”

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