New “Lucy’s Law” legislation has been laid in Parliament to put an end to puppy and kitten farming (factories). The phrase, “laid in” means that if no one objects (and no one will) the law will take effect automatically. This will happen on 6th April 2020.
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, made the announcement recently to the delight of all animal advocates. The law means that puppies and kittens will no longer be sold by a third party seller – a pet shop or commercial dealer – unless they have bred the animals themselves.
Purchasers and adopters of puppies and kittens under six months of age must deal directly with an animal rehoming centre (an animal shelter) or with a breeder.
In essence it gets rid of kitten and puppy farms which we know are cruel and highly exploitative of companion animals and their human adopters. The law is named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel whose name was Lucy who died in 2016. She suffered terrible cruelty in awful conditions on a Welsh puppy farm. On these farms they keep animals such as Lucy to breed multiple litters of puppies or kittens. The kittens and puppies are taken away from their mothers at a few weeks of age and advertised online or sold in pet shops.
It can cause, and often does cause, lifelong behavioural issues because of poor socialisation and early weaning. They are often diseased and there are numerous cases of adopters finding that there kitten or puppy has serious illnesses costing thousands of pounds in veterinary bills. Importantly the animal’s guardian suffers emotional distress in trying to treat the severe illnesses and the animal suffers as well.
The new law ensures that puppies and kittens are born and reared in a safe environment with their mother and that they’re adopted from their place of birth or a shelter.
The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said:
“This is about giving our animals the best possible start in life and making sure that no other animal suffers the same fate as Lucy. It will put an end to the early separation of puppies and kittens from their mothers, as well as the terrible conditions in which some of these animals are bred.
I would like to thank the tireless campaigners and animal lovers who have helped to bring about this positive change.
This is all part of our plan to make this country the best place in the world for the protection and care of animals.”
Mark Abraham, Lucy’s Law campaigner and founder of Pup Aid said:
“I’m absolutely thrilled that Lucy’s Law is now being made in Parliament and will come into effect from April 2020. Four years irresponsible breeders in the UK and abroad, so-called puppy farmers, have depended upon commercial third-party sellers – e.g. dealers in pet shops – to keep their breeding dogs and puppies in horrific conditions hidden from the public.”
The government decision to ban commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens was announced in December 2018. It follows years of high-profile campaigning by animal advocates and welfare organisations. A public consultation found that over 95% of people supported a ban.
Source: government website.