Dogs and cats will no longer be sold in Czech pet shops, stricter rules will apply to breeders

In an effort to eradicate puppy mills a new legal framework is intended to improve living conditions for pets used in breeding.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 19.01.2021 14:09 (updated on 19.01.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Dogs and cats can’t be sold in pet stores or in public places in the Czech Republic as of the beginning of February. Breeders of three or more female dogs will have to keep more records, and breeding farms will be more highly regulated.

The changes come from an amendment to the Act on the Protection of Animals against Cruelty.

“The law’s provisions directly prohibit the sale or handing over of a dog or cat in a public place. The handing over of animals from illegal breeding in unsuitable conditions often takes place in remote car parking lots or other places,” State Veterinary Administration (SVS) spokesman Petr Vorlíček said in a press release.

“Sellers try to avoid having the buyer visit to the place of breeding, which could discourage the person from buying,” he added. The law also also prohibits the sale of primates, in addition to dogs and cats, in pet stores.

The amendment introduces a definition of the term breeding into the Czech legal environment and sets rules for pet reproduction. The aim is to improve the conditions of animals in breeding farms and strengthen the position of the state in the fight against problematic breeding farms.

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Entrepreneurs who keep dogs as a trade and breeders of three or more female dogs will have to keep new records of sold and donated puppies, and provide new breeders with information on puppy feeding and care.

Breeders will have to record the births of puppies in new registration sheets that will be available on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture. These records must be kept for three years. A copy of the registration form or another document with same information must be given to the puppy’s new owner.

Problems in pet breeding are not only unsuitable conditions or too many animals, which lead to the animals not being properly cared for.

“In some cases, the main problem is too frequent reproduction, driven primarily by a purely economic interest, regardless of the health of the females,” Zbyněk Semerád, the central director of SVS, said in a press release.

“At the same time, too frequent pregnancies disproportionately put a strain on the dog or cat, and this is not in line with the requirements for the protection and welfare of animals,” he added.

The law expands the number of entities that must comply with the conditions of animal breeding, including the frequency of reproduction and reproductive age. The law now also applies to breeders of three or more female dogs.

Further conditions for the breeding of dogs and cats are set out in a decree that is currently under comment procedure and is expected to take effect from Jan. 1, 2022.

In 2019, the Czech Chamber of Veterinarians estimated that there are around 2 million dogs in the Czech Republic. According to a STEM/MARK survey at that time, up to 40 percent of Czechs have a dog in their household and spend an average of CZK 15,794 a year on it.

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