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Session 1997-98
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Breeding and Sale of Dogs Bill
This Bill makes further provision relating to the regulation of the breeding and sale of dogs.
  Clause 1 provides that premises at which five or more litters of puppies have been bred in any licensing year (that is to say any calendar year) are presumed to be breeding establishments for dogs requiring to be licensed under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 ("the 1973 Act") unless it is proved that none of the puppies in question were sold. It also provides that licences under that Act may be granted subject to conditions that the facilities available will be sufficient to maintain the health and safety of the dogs there, that puppies may not be bred from bitches which are under twelve months or over eight years of age or from a bitch more frequently than every nine months and that breeding records are to be kept
  Clause 2 requires premises which are to be used as a breeding establishment for dogs to be inspected by a veterinary surgeon or practitioner approved by the local authority and for the authority to consider a report of that inspection before granting a licence under the 1973 Act. Local authorities are enabled to charge fees to applicants for licences which are sufficient in aggregate to cover their costs for administering and enforcing the provisions of the 1973 Act including the costs of the inspection of premises by veterinary surgeons or practitioners
  Clause 3 enables a local authority to seize any dog kept in premises which appear to them to be an illegal breeding establishment for dogs if the dog appears to have been used in the business carried on there and to detain the dog in a place of safe custody until the determination of proceedings in respect of the contravention of the 1973 Act. If the person in question is convicted, the court may order the forfeiture of the dog and the payment by the owner to the local authority of an amount in respect of the reasonable costs of the detention of the dog including veterinary treatment where requiredIf proceedings are not instituted within a period of two months or the owner is not convicted, the dog must be returned to its owner.
  Clause 4 makes the offence of keeping a breeding establishment for dogs unlawfully, which at present is punishable by a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale, punishable also by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months. It also provides that the court may, in addition to the existing punishments, order the cancellation of any licence held by the offender to keep a pet shop, disqualify him from keeping a pet shop, order him to be disqualified from having custody of a dog or order the forfeiture of any dog which is on the premises and is owned or kept by him
  Clause 5 makes it an offence to sell a dog in a public place or, with certain exceptions, for any person other than the breeder or the keeper of a licensed pet shop to sell a puppy. It is also an offence for a person to sell a puppy knowing that the buyer intends to sell the puppy to another person unless the sale is by the breeder of the puppy to the keeper of a licensed pet shop. The offences carry the same penalties as the offence of keeping an unlawful breeding establishment. The clause also requires local authorities when issuing licences for the keeping of pet shops to impose certain conditions to secure the welfare of any dogs sold from the shop
  Clause 6 provides a saving for existing licences.
  Clause 7 provides for the short title of the Bill and its commencement and extent.
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Prepared 28 January 1998