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  1. Health

It is now illegal to purchase a puppy or kitten from a British pet shop

Window shoppers look at a pair of Labrador puppies for sale at the Westside Pavilion Shopping Center in Los Angeles in 2010. The British government has decided to ban third-party sales of puppies and kittens to improve animal welfare. Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018 the ban ?is part of our commitment to make sure the nation?s much-loved pets get the right start in life. [Associated Press]
Published Dec. 24, 2018

LONDON — Britain has banned third-party sales of puppies and kittens to protect the animals from exploitation.

The government says the new law will help crack down on "puppy farms" and make it harder for unscrupulous dealers who have little regard for animal welfare.

Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said the ban "is part of our commitment to make sure the nation's much-loved pets get the right start in life."

The decision follows a public consultation that found overwhelming support for banning third-party sales.

Under the new measure, people wishing to adopt a puppy or kitten would have to deal directly with a breeder or a re-homing center, rather than pet shops or other commercial dealers.

Animal welfare groups praised the government measure as an important step forward. Marc Abraham, a veterinarian who appears on television and is the founder of Pup Aid, called it "a real victory for grassroots campaigners as well as the U.K.'s dogs and cats."

He said the law would make breeders more accountable and make it more difficult to sell illegally smuggled puppies and kittens.

The change was also endorsed by one of Britain's best-known animal shelters, the Battersea Cat and Dogs Home.

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