The UK government have backed a ban on the sale of kittens and puppies by third party sellers. The campaign, otherwise known as Lucy’s Law, is striving towards a ban on pet shops, backstreet breeders and puppy farms. Theresa May announced in December that the government would crack down on puppy farms, amongst the new animal welfare legalisations that will be introduced.
Lucy’s Law was started after Lucy, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel was rescued from a puppy farm where she was used for breeding. She suffered from fused hips, a curved spine, malnourishment, chronic dry eye, bald patches and epilepsy and her skin was tainted with the smell of ammonia as a result of the horrific conditions she was kept in before being rescued. Lucy was rescued in 2013 and passed away in 2016.
To honour her, the campaign for puppy farms to be shut down, backstreet breeding and third party sales of cats and dogs was launched. After several years of campaigning and petition signed by over 150,000 people, the campaign reached the government and a decision to end third party sales has been reached.
Whilst adopting animals over buying them from a breeder is always the best choice, this new law will only allow anyone looking to buy a puppy be in contact with a registered breeder. This will ensure that animals are being looked after in a clean environment, and eradicate horror puppy farms.
Environment secretary, Michael Gove, said: “A ban on third party sales will ensure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life. I pay tribute to the Lucy’s Law campaign, spearheaded by PupAid, Care And Respect Includes Dogs (CARIAD), and Canina Action UK, who have fought tirelessly for this step.
“People who have a complete disregard for pet welfare will no longer be able to profit from this miserable trade.”
The ban is part of the government’s animal welfare reforms, which will also include banning the sale of underage puppies and kittens and tackle the breeding over dogs with severe genetic disorders. The reforms will also see the maximum sentence for animal cruelty increased from six months to five years.