Level 3

The UK government is considering banning the sale of puppies in pet shops and other third-party sellers in order to increase the welfare of animals. This proposed law would force buyers to go directly to a breeder or animal shelter.

In 2018, new regulations on breeders are being enforced. Some of the new regulations include obligatory licenses to sell or breed dogs, not being able to sell a puppy or kitten under 8 weeks old, and the buyer must see the puppy alongside it’s mother before the purchase. Another regulation also stipulates that the purchase must be completed in front of the new owner after some problems in the past with online orders.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have been concerned that this ban may cause third-parties to sell animals illegally. Paula Boyden, veterinary director for the Dogs Trust, said “Licensing and inspection of dog breeders and sellers must also be stronger to ensure that everyone involved in the trade is on the radar of local authorities.”

The deputy chief of the RSPCA has said he is happy with the new regulations. He said the organisation has always felt a ban on third parties was never going to be enough but that they are optimistic this could be coupled with increased licensing and regulations.

The underground puppy trade has got out of hand. Inspectors have found dogs and puppies in gruesome conditions surrounded by filth and in unliveable areas with little light. They were kept that way by breeders and dealers of puppies. There have been many cases where sellers have even sold animals which they knew were already sick but didn’t inform the owner.

The chief executive at Mayhew Animal Home charity has said, “The law is not protecting these dogs and we need to be absolutely sure that future legislation is properly resourced and enforceable.”

The new regulations will begin in October of this year.

Difficult words

Banning: To stop something from being allowed.

Welfare: The happiness and/or health of a living thing.

Proposed: To give a suggestion

Breeder: Someone who makes animals have babies

Enforced: To make people follow a rule

Obligatory: A necessary thing.

Stipulates: To specify or require

Ensure: Make sure something happens

Radar: A system that can detect things such as planes or boats

Optimistic: To feel positive that something will work

Gruesome: Disgusting and repulsive

Filth: Dirt

Inform: To tell someone new information

Legislation: Laws in government

Resourced: To find money or materials that can be used

Enforceable: Make others follow a law or rule

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

1. Banning A. Offer
2. Welfare B. Forbid
3.  Proposed C. Mandatory
4.  Enforce  D. Dirty
5. Obligatory  E. Horrid
6. Optimistic F. Detection
7. Filth G. Health
8. Gruesome H. Impose
9. Radar I.  Positive

True or False?

1. The UK is not considering banning pet shops from selling puppies. T / F

2. The new law would mean people had to buy their pets directly from breeders or shelters. T / F

3. The new regulations mean mandatory licenses for breeders. T / F

4. Kittens can be sold at 6 weeks old. T / F

5. The purchase does not need to be completed in front of the new owner. T / F

6.  People think this new law will make some pet shops sell animals illegally. T / F

7. The RSPCA is happy with the governments new plan.  T / F

8. The inspectors have found puppies in horrific conditions. T / F

9. Third-party sellers have never sold an unhealthy puppy. T / F

10. The regulations will begin in August. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. The / thinking / banning / from / shops / selling / puppies / is / pet / UK / about

2. 2018, / regulations / for / new / In / will / breeders / be / there

3. regulation / a / they / need / will / will / first / The / means / special / license

4. sell / shops / People / illegally / think / puppies / still / pet / will

5. animals / People / the / think / these / UK / needs / protect / to

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

Ensure Enforced Considering
Coupled Resourced Alongside
Obligatory Proposed Filth

The UK government is _____________ banning the sale of puppies in pet shops and other third-party sellers in order to increase the welfare of animals. This ___________ law would force buyers to go directly to a breeder or animal shelter.

In 2018, new regulations on breeders are being __________. Some of the new regulations include _____________ licenses to sell or breed dogs, not being able to sell a puppy or kitten under 8 weeks old, and the buyer must see the puppy __________ it’s mother before the purchase. Another regulation also stipulates that the purchase must be completed in front of the new owner after some problems in the past with online orders.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have been concerned that this ban may cause third-parties to sell animals illegally. Paula Boyden, veterinary director for the Dogs Trust, said “Licensing and inspection of dog breeders and sellers must also be stronger to __________ that everyone involved in the trade is on the radar of local authorities.”

The deputy chief of the RSPCA has said he is happy with the new regulations. He said the organisation has always felt a ban on third parties was never going to be enough but that they are optimistic this could be ___________ with increased licensing and regulations.

The underground puppy trade has got out of hand. Inspectors have found dogs and puppies in gruesome conditions surrounded by _________ and unliveable conditions with little light. They were kept that way by breeders and dealers of puppies. There have been many cases where sellers have even sold animals which they knew were already sick but didn’t inform the owner.

The chief executive at Mayhew Animal Home charity has said, “The law is not protecting these dogs and we need to be absolutely sure that future legislation is properly ____________ and enforceable.”

The new regulations will begin in October of this year.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What are animal regulations like in your country?
4. Do you think it’s the governments job to protect animals?
5. Should pet shops be allowed to sell puppies and kittens?
6. What do you think is the youngest a pet should be sold?
7. Do you have any pets?
8. How do people normally buy pets in your country?
9. How can the government make sure people follow the new rules?
10. Should there be regulations on animals besides cats and dogs?
11. Where is the best place to get a new pet?
12. Are there any disadvantages to the new regulations?
13. Is animal rights a problem in your country?
14. Is there a difference between pets and farm animals?
15. Does size make an animal more or less important?
16. What rights should an animal have?
17. Is there a way to make sellers have better homes for the animals?
18. What do you think about the pet shops that sell sick animals without telling the buyers?
19. Do you prefer cats to dogs?
20. In most western countries, pets are considered family, is that true in your country?