CHILDREN are to be banned from buying pets.
The move comes in a radical shake-up of domestic animal law being unveiled by the Government today.
Ministers believe under-16s are not mature enough to be responsible for the duty of care needed to protect their pets.
Under the new Animal Welfare Bill, adults will have to buy any new additions to the family home.
Other plans include tougher penalties for animal offences, such as cruelty, and a tightening of regulations governing `captive bred', such as zoos.
The message is that keeping an animal is a privilege, not a right.
Royston Rogers, who owns a Thongsbridge, pet shop fears the proposed new rules do not go far enough.
"I run a shop called PC's Petcare, which means just that. We care, and take in rescued pets, if we have room," he said. "We don't sell to under-16s and we make sure all people who buy pets from us know how to look after them.
"More needs to be done, if not in this Bill."