A ban on puppy sales by pet shops and other third-party dealers in England is being considered by the government.
Under the proposals, people buying or adopting a dog would deal directly with a breeder or rehousing centre.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the plan would be examined as part of a new package of measures aimed at driving up welfare standards.
Enhanced licensing conditions for breeders are already due to come into force this year.
Under the new rules, breeders or sellers of dogs must be licensed and will not be able to sell puppies and kittens under eight weeks old.
Puppies must also be shown alongside their mother before a sale is made, and – amid concern over online sales – purchases must be completed in the presence of the new owner.
‘Puppy trade crisis’
Last year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs suggested a ban on third-party sales could lead to the …