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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Think before buying a pet, says government

The Welsh Government is asking people to think carefully before buying pets in the New Year.
Environment Minister, John Griffiths, said: "As we enter a new year some people may be thinking about purchasing a pet dog or cat.

"I would ask anyone thinking about getting a pet to make sure that they understand what is involved in looking after an animal properly, including the veterinary costs, and to ensure they know where the animal has come from.

“If you do not know where your animal has come you will have no assurance that proper care has been taken of its health and welfare nor that it has been socialised properly. This could potentially lead to behavioural problems and costly veterinary expenses.”

Wales’ Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Christianne Glossop, said: “We believe that some people are buying and selling dogs and cats that have come from abroad, some of which may have travelled illegally.

"This puts the health of the animals, and the general public, at risk from diseases including rabies and parvovirus. They may also be advertised in a way that misleads the buyer regarding the animal’s history, breed or pedigree.

"I would urge anyone not to buy a cat or dog from an unknown source. If you are planning to bring a new animal into your home, it’s important that you know where it comes from and where it was born. Be particularly careful when buying dogs or cats advertised on the internet or through local or social media.”

If you are planning to buy a pet dog or cat, make some basic but important checks:
  • Buy your animal from a reputable supplier. Advice on buying a dog or cat is available from veterinary surgeons and a range of animal organisations, including the Dog Advisory Council, Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA
  • Check the animal’s history by speaking to the previous owner. If you are buying a puppy or kitten, you should ask to see it with its mother and the rest of the litter.
  • View the animal and its documentation before you buy. If it was born outside of the UK it must have either a pet passport or a veterinary certificate. The pet passport needs to confirm that it was vaccinated against rabies at the correct age. This must be done according to the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet (normally at three months of age). For dogs, the passport should also show that it has been treated for tapeworm.
  • If you have any doubts about an animal speak to your vet before agreeing to buy it.

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