The government has announced a call for evidence on whether there should be a ban on third party puppy sales.\r\n\r\nThe announcement was made by Defra minister, Lord Gardiner, at London-based animal welfare charity, Mayhew, today.\r\n\r\nMayhew CEO, Caroline Yates, welcomed the step forward towards the goal of banning damaging third party sales.\r\n\r\nNew legislation to improve standards was also announced by environment secretary, Michael Gove.\r\nDefra minister, Lord Gardiner, said: \u201cWe have announced today a call for evidence on whether we should ban third party sales because we think this may help to advance welfare. We\u2019re very concerned about unscrupulous breeders and we think this may well be a way of helping tackle the problem.\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s why we\u2019re going to ask animal welfare charities and others to come forward with evidence, and then we will give the matter very considerable consideration.\u201d\r\nMayhew\u2019s CEO, Caroline Yates, said: \u201cWe are really pleased today to hear that there will be a call for evidence on banning of third party sales of animals. It is a real issue that animal welfare organisations are very concerned about. Getting a dog or cat is not a commercial business and the big puppy farms have no regard for the health or welfare of animals.\u201d\r\n\u201cOwners are being duped into buying animals from these places and the resulting sickness and poor treatment means there is also an additional burden on animal welfare charities that are mopping up the problem.\u201d\r\nThe next step to tackle unscrupulous breeding comes as the new draft reforms to improve standards are laid in Parliament today.\r\nThe new legislation includes:\r\n\r\n\r\n \tBanning the sale of puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks.\r\n \tIntroducing compulsory licensing for anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs.\r\n \tEnsuring that licensed dog breeders show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made.\r\n \tLicensed breeders will only be able to sell puppies they have bred themselves.\r\n \tPuppy sales will only be legally completed in the presence of the new owner, meaning sales cannot take place unless the buyer has physically seen the dog.\r\n \tMeasures to tackle the sale of weak underage puppies and the breeding of unhealthy dogs and dogs with severe genetic disorders.\r\n\r\nEnvironment secretary, Michael Gove, said: \u201cWe need to do everything we can to make sure the nation\u2019s much loved pets get the right start in life. From banning the sale of underage puppies to tackling the breeding of dogs with severe genetic disorders, we are cracking down on sellers who have a total disregard for their dogs\u2019 welfare.\r\n\u201cThis is a further step to raise the bar on animal welfare standards. We are also introducing mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses and increasing maximum prison sentences tenfold for animal abusers.\u201d\r\nLaunching the call for evidence on a ban, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has invited all interested parties to share their views by May 2nd 2018 on how this could best be introduced.