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Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Breeding and Sale of Dogs
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The Breeding and Sale of Dogs

Looking at the breeding, sale, gifting or distribution and transportation of dogs in current circumstances

Breeding


All breeders of dogs that produce more than x litters of puppies a year or keep x number of breeding bitches need to be licensed and are regulated by The Breeding and sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.
This is an act that seeks to amend and extend the regulations of the 1973 act.

An Act to amend and extend certain enactments relating to the commercial breeding and sale of dogs; to regulate the welfare of dogs kept in commercial breeding establishments; to extend powers of inspection; to establish records of dogs kept at such establishments; and for connected purposes.


In brief, this act has 7 sections regulating breeding and two covering sale.
There are links below to each section of the Act if you want to read the precise wording and revisions yourself, but if you don't we have provided a brief summary of the section beneath its link.
  1. Inspection and report before grant of license.
    This section states that anyone wishing to breed commercially must apply to the local authority in which the premises of the proposed breeding establishment is based.
    If the applicant has not held a license before the premises must be inspected by a vet AND an officer of the council.
    In any other case, the premises must be inspected by a vet OR an officer of the council.
    If the applicant has not held a license before the local authority must compile a report on the premises, applicant and any other relevant matter and consider that report before granting a license.

  2. Licence conditions.
    There is a reference to subsection 4 of section 1 of the 1973 act - in brief it says that in deciding what conditions to impose in a license the words in paragraph b  (dogs to be visited at suitable intervals, so far as necessary), omit “(so far as necessary)”.
    Bitches under 1 year should not be bred from, bitches should not have more than 6 litters of pups each (total), should have 12 months between litters and accurate records as regulated should be kept and made available to ant vet or council officer inspecting the premises.
    Finally, the Secretary of State can provide additional regualtion but none can be annulled without parliamentary resolution (either house).

  3. Commencement and duration of license.

    (1)After subsection (5) of section 1 of the 1973 Act insert—

    (5A)A local authority shall determine whether to grant such a licence before the end of the period of three months beginning with the day on which the application for the licence is received.

    (2)In subsection (6) of that section (commencement of licences), for the words from “(according” to the end substitute come into force at the beginning of the day specified in the licence as the day on which it is to come into force; and that day shall be the later of—

    (a)the day stated in the application as that on which the applicant wishes the licence to come into force; and

    (b)the day on which the licence is granted.

    (3)In subsection (7) of that section (period of licence), for “year to which it relates” substitute “ period of one year beginning with the day on which it comes into force ”.

    (4)Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to any application for a licence received before the day on which this Act comes into force; and subsections (2) and (3) do not apply in relation to a licence granted before that day.

  4. Imprisonment for keeping unlicensed establishment etc.

    (1)In subsection (1) of section 3 of the 1973 Act (offence of keeping an unlicensed establishment etc.), for the words from “to” to the end substitute to—

    (a)imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months; or

    (b)a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale,

    or to both.

    (2)Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an offence committed before this Act comes into force.

  5. Disqualification.

    (1)In subsection (3) of section 3 of the 1973 Act (cancellation of licences and disqualification), for the words from “or of any offence” to the end substitute , the court by which he is convicted may (in addition to or in substitution for any penalty under subsection (1) or (2) of this section) make an order providing for any one or more of the following—

    (a)the cancellation of any licence held by him under this Act;

    (b)his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from keeping an establishment the keeping of which is required to be licensed under this Act; and

    (c)his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from having custody of any dog of a description specified in the order.

    (2)In subsection (4) of that section (suspension of cancellation or disqualification pending appeal), for “ordered the cancellation of a person’s licence, or his disqualification, in pursuance of the last foregoing subsection” substitute “ made an order under this section ”.

    (3)After that subsection insert—

    (5)Where a court makes an order under subsection (3)(c) of this section in relation to a description of dogs it may also make such order as it thinks fit in respect of any dog of that description which—

    (a)was in the offender’s custody at the time when the offence was committed; or

    (b)has been in his custody at any time since that time.

    (6)An order under subsection (5) of this section may (in particular)—

    (a)require any person who has custody of the dog to deliver it up to a specified person; and

    (b)(if it does) also require the offender to pay specified amounts to specified persons for the care of the dog from the time when it is delivered up in pursuance of the order until permanent arrangements are made for its care or disposal.

    (7)A person who—

    (a)has custody of a dog in contravention of an order under subsection (3)(c) of this section; or

    (b)fails to comply with a requirement imposed on him under subsection (6) of this section,

    shall be guilty of an offence.

    (8)Where a court proposes to make an order under subsection (5) of this section in respect of a dog owned by a person other than the offender, the court shall notify the owner who may make representations to the court; and if an order is made the owner may, within the period of seven days beginning with the date of the order, appeal to—

    (a)in England and Wales, the Crown Court; or

    (b)in Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary,

    against the order.

    (9)A person who is subject to a disqualification by virtue of an order under subsection (3)(c) of this section may, at any time after the end of the period of one year beginning with the date of the order, apply to the court which made the order (or, in England and Wales, any magistrates’ court acting for the same petty sessions area) for a direction terminating the disqualification from such date as the court considers appropriate.

    (10)On an application under subsection (9) of this section the court—

    (a)shall notify the relevant local authority which may make representations to the court;

    (b)shall, having regard to the applicant’s character and his conduct since the disqualification was imposed, any representations made by the relevant local authority and any other circumstances of the case, grant or refuse the application; and

    (c)may order the applicant to pay all or any part of the costs, or (in Scotland) expenses, of the application (including any costs, or expenses, of the relevant local authority in making representations);

    and in this subsection “the relevant local authority” means the local authority in whose area are situated the premises in relation to which the offence which led to the disqualification was committed.

    (11)Where an application under subsection (9) of this section in respect of a disqualification is refused, no further application under that subsection in respect of that disqualification shall be entertained if made before the end of the period of one year beginning with the date of the refusal.

    (4)In subsection (2) of section 2 of the M1Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 (disqualification for offence of obstruction etc. of inspector of premises not covered by a licence under the 1973 Act), for the words from “disqualify him” to the end substitute make an order providing for either or both of the following—

    (a)his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from keeping an establishment the keeping of which is required to be licensed under the M2Breeding of Dogs Act 1973; and

    (b)his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from having custody of any dog of a description specified in the order.

    (5)After that subsection insert—

    (2A)A court which has made an order under or by virtue of this section may, if it thinks fit, suspend the operation of the order pending an appeal.

    (2B)Subsections (5) to (11) of section 3 of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (provisions about disqualification) apply in relation to an order made under subsection (2)(b) above as they apply in relation to an order made under subsection (3)(c) of that section.

    (6)This section does not apply in relation to an offence committed before this Act comes into force.

  6. Fees.

    After section 3 of the 1973 Act insert—

    3A Fees.

    (1)The costs of inspecting premises under this Act and the M1Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 shall be met by the local authority concerned.

    (2)A local authority may charge fees—

    (a)in respect of applications for the grant of licences under this Act; and

    (b)in respect of inspections of premises under section 1(2A) of this Act.

    (3)A local authority may set the level of fees to be charged by virtue of subsection (2) of this section—

    (a)with a view to recovering the reasonable costs incurred by them in connection with the administration and enforcement of this Act and the Breeding of Dogs Act 1991; and

    (b)so that different fees are payable in different circumstances.

  7. Definition of establishments

    Before section 5 of the 1973 Act insert—

    4A Breeding establishments for dogs.

    (1)References in this Act to the keeping of a breeding establishment for dogs shall be construed in accordance with this section.

    (2)A person keeps a breeding establishment for dogs at any premises if he carries on at those premises a business of breeding dogs for sale (whether by him or any other person).

    (3)Subject to subsection (5) of this section, where—

    (a)a person keeps a bitch at any premises at any time during any period of twelve months; and

    (b)the bitch gives birth to a litter of puppies at any time during that period,

    he shall be treated as carrying on a business of breeding dogs for sale at the premises throughout the period if a total of four or more other litters is born during the period to bitches falling within subsection (4) of this section.

    (4)The bitches falling within this subsection are—

    (a)the bitch mentioned in subsection (3)(a) and (b) of this section and any other bitches kept by the person at the premises at any time during the period;

    (b)any bitches kept by any relative of his at the premises at any such time;

    (c)any bitches kept by him elsewhere at any such time; and

    (d)any bitches kept (anywhere) by any person at any such time under a breeding arrangement made with him.

    (5)Subsection (3) of this section does not apply if the person shows that none of the puppies born to bitches falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (d) of subsection (4) of this section was in fact sold during the period (whether by him or any other person).

    (6)In subsection (4) of this section “breeding arrangement” means a contract or other arrangement under which the person agrees that another person may keep a bitch of his on terms that, should the bitch give birth, the other person is to provide him with either—

    (a)one or more of the puppies; or

    (b)the whole or part of the proceeds of selling any of them;

    and “relative” means the person’s parent or grandparent, child or grandchild, sibling, aunt or uncle or niece or nephew or someone with whom he lives as a couple.

    (7)In this section “premises” includes a private dwelling.

    4B Rearing establishments for dogs.

    (1)For the purposes of the application of this Act in relation to Scotland, a person keeps a rearing establishment for dogs at any premises if he carries on at those premises a business of rearing dogs for sale (whether by him or any other person).

    (2)In subsection (1) of this section “premises” includes a private dwelling.



Sale

Technically, everyone who sells dogs commercially needs to be licensed and have their facilities inspected annually.


https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1999/11/contents

Distribution

People who transport animals commercially need to be licensed and this applies to dog taxi's as well.






Gifting

You can give your dog away or even sell it without having to comply with any law other than the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.

Free to good home

There is a lot of confusion and fear surrounding the advertising of dogs as 'free to good home' in paid or 'free ad' newspapers or paid or 'free ad' websites on the internet or even by posters in a local community.

The first thing to bear in mind when you see these adverts that most people who have posted them have already tried rescue organisations and had no luck either due to the fact that there are no places available or due to the fact that the dog has issues that will make it impossible for the rescue to re-home it.

We are always full to capacity - one out - one in.
The laws of physics apply. You cannot get more into a container than it is capable of holding.
Every day we have to tell some people we have no space to take their dogs in. These are people who are asking us to take in their dogs.


We are often contacted by people who have seen one of these adverts, are worried for the sake of the dog and are asking us to intervene.
But the people who are posting these adverts are not asking us (or anyone else) to take their dog from them.
How could we possibly justify taking in a dog from someone who is not asking us to do so when we have to say no to a lot of people who are asking us.


Most rescue organisations are in exactly the same position, they are always full and working to capacity.
If a rescue has spaces available and can fit a dog in immediately it is likely to because people are not asking them to take their dogs in because they have a bad reputation or because they are punting dogs out as quickly as possible, in which case they should have a bad reputation.

Another very, very, important thing to consider is that some people actually prefer to advertise and re-home their dog themselves.
They want to KNOW that it is being done right.
They want to meet and see the person or people who are going to give their dog a new home and make their own judgment on the person rather than rely on someone else doing it for them.
They do not want their dog having to go through the stress of going into a kennel and being handled by strangers and then being moved on again. They do not want their dog risking being returned to a rescue by someone who has taken it on because they like the picture of it but having got it home have then decided it is not the right dog for them after all.

They do not entirely trust rescue organisations to do the job right - and in many cases they are quite correct not to trust them.
They want their dog to live with them in an environment it is used to and comfortable in and move straight to a new home just once.

Most people who advertise their dogs as 'free to good home' will take a lot of trouble to ensure the person they finally let the dog go to has been well vetted by them and has had to persuade them that they are right for the dog.
The dogs most at risk in these advertising situations are the dogs being sold.
Seller are frequently motivated by money.


Not many rescue organisations work in the way we do.
A high proportion of rescue organisations are not even charities or charitable.
A lot of these, including some charities, do not home visit, do not assess dogs properly, do not match dogs to homes and do not properly vet people on their capability to look after a dog or their financial ability to support one.
They post a picture of a dog on the internet - someone sees it and offers to take it. The rescue may do a home visit but they probably wont fully check the person, home and environment as being suitable for that particular dog.
Because they have little personal involvement with the dog and it has not been with them very long, they don't actually know it very well so they can't check if the dog will fit into the home.
They take a donation and off it goes. If it does not fit in and it comes back, they do it again.


We hear from people who need our behavioural advice that the dog they have adopted from another rescue has been rehomed several times. It is no wonder that some people prefer to post a dog on an advertising website and do it themselves - and it's perfectly legal.

It is actually safer to use one of these websites that to use a forum or social media to try and re-home a dog.
Bunchers and dog dealers frequent forums and monitor social media websites for free dogs. people that use these outlets to advertise their dogs are more trusting of people who contact them through the sites and unscrupulous people who are looking for a free dog to profit from know this.
It is easier to con people if they are contacted via that sort of platform.


Everyone thinks that you have to be careful if you post an advert 'free to good home' on a free ad site so they tend to be more cautious.
Advertising a dog as 'free to good home' is not as bad as it is made out to be and certainly not as risky as some people claim.

We do not actually approve of it but we can understand why it is happening.



A Draconic Option?

We have always thought a few things need to be done - in law - to rectify this sort of issue.

Breeding and sale of dogs needs to be more tightly regulated and all breeders need to be licensed.
To get a license they need to demonstrate a minimal understanding of genetics and breeding methods and suitable facilities for the care of the breeding sires and dams and pups.
AAnyone not planning to breed from their dog should be obliged to get their dog neutered or spayed.
Only licensed breeders should be allowed to sell or give away pups they have bred and should do so directly.
No third party sale of dogs/pups should be allowed.
Breeders should be obliged to care for and protect the dogs they breed from with a minimum breeding age and a maximum breeding age for each sex of dog and an obligation to care for dog that have finished their breeding abilities for the rest of their natural life.

Dog ownership should be licensed.
People wanting to own a dog should have to demonstrate they know enough about dog ownership and are financially able to provide for a dog before they are granted a license.
Dogs should be individually licensed with a license for a second dog being higher than the first, the third higher than the second - etc.
The cost of each license should be reduced once a dog was neutered or spayed.
A central database of registered, licensed dogs should be set up and full access made available to authorities, vets and licensed rescue organisations. Limited access should be available to any member of the public.
Substantial fines should be given to people who do not have a license or have not had their dogs neutered or spayed within a reasonable time of acquiring the dog. Like parking tickets, these should be 'on the spot' fines.

Rescue organisations need to be regulated.
They should also be registered, charitable, licensed and legally obliged to maintain minimal accommodation and care standards and re-home to a regulated procedure, ensuring certain checks are made.
Rescue organisations should be able to hold dogs without having to pay for a license

Advertising dogs for sale or free or passing them on to third parties, other than licensed rescue organisations, should then be made illegal.

 If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie from us, please phone 0845 604 4941 during office hours.
(2 pm to 5 pm Tuesdays to Thursdays)

Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process.