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Joint response to Defra’s landmark consultation from veterinary organisations

The British Veterinary Association (BVA), the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) have submitted a joint response to Defra’s landmark consultation on animal establishment licensing in the UK to voice the veterinary opinion.

The 12 week consultation, which closed Saturday 11 March, is the biggest review the Government has ever undertaken on animal establishment licensing and takes into consideration a range of animal welfare issues.

In the joint response, BVA, BSAVA and BVZS agree that much of the current animal licensing legislation is out of date and needs to be revised to take account of the changes that have occurred since it was originally introduced (Pet Animals Act 1951, Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963).

BVA president Sean Wensley said, “Animal welfare is always the top priority for vets, and we believe that starts right at the beginning of a pet’s life. If people are regularly breeding puppies then it is necessary and right that measures are in place to protect the health and welfare of the mother and her puppies.

“Anyone breeding from a dog should be required to register with their local authority and quote their registration number in any advert for puppy sales.

“This is not about targeting individual dog owners, but about best breeding practices and, moreover, the health and welfare of animals across the UK, which is why we are proposing that the licence and inspection criteria applies to the establishment rather than individuals.”

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