ANIMAL lovers are being urged to put pressure on the Government to ban the sale of puppies by pet shops and other third-party dealers.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has launched a consultation on what the effects of introducing a ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens in England would be.

And the charity Jerry Green Dog Rescue, which has a centre in Catton, near Thirsk wants the Government to get the plans pushed through as quickly as possible.

Campaigner Gill Skinner said: “Having previously campaigned for an end to puppy farming, we are keen to support Defra’s recommendations to ban the sale of puppies in this way. More regulation is essential if we are to tackle the unscrupulous dealers in this dreadful trade. "

Currently, breeders only need to have a dog breeding licence to operate, which allows them to legally produce five or more litters a year from the same breeding bitch and sell the puppies.

The licence stipulates that dogs should live in suitable accommodation, receive adequate food, water and bedding, be protected from disease and get enough exercise.

However the charity's chief executive, Jacqui Bell, said: “Alarmingly, the standard dog breeding licence doesn’t put anywhere near enough emphasis on the long-term welfare of the breeding bitches and their pups.

“And it’s deeply concerning how easy it is for people to order and pay for a so called ‘tailor-made puppy’ online and have it delivered straight to their door."

To take part in the consultation visit