New ‘Lucy’s law’ will protect dogs and cats in crackdown on puppy farms

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY MAY 13 Undated handout photo of Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being poorly treated on a Welsh puppy farm. Puppies and kittens will no longer be sold by a third party unless they have bred the animal themselves under new legislation announced by Michael Gove. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday May 13, 2019. The legislation, known as 'Lucy?s law', named after the puppy, will ensure that anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten under six-months-old must deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre, rather than a pet shop or commercial dealer. The new rules, due to come into force on April 6 next year, require animals to be born and reared in a safe environment, with their mother, and sold from their place of birth. See PA story POLITICS Puppies. Photo credit should read: Lisa Garner/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being poorly treated on a Welsh puppy farm (Picture: PA)

New laws are set to come into place next year to protect puppies and kittens from unscrupulous breeders.

Lucy’s Law is named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died three years ago after being poorly treated on a puppy farm.

The change would require animals to be born and reared in a safe environment, with their mother, and to be sold from their place of birth.

The law change will stop people separating animals from their mothers within weeks and either advertising them online or selling them to pet shops.

It will ban the sale of puppies and kittens by third parties and ensure that anyone buying or adopting one under six months old deals directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre, rather than a pet shop or commercial dealer.

The new rules still need a debate in both houses of parliament to pass into law on April 6 next year.

The ban, which will apply to England, is also designed to deter smugglers who abuse the Pet Travel Scheme to bring young animals into the UK to be sold.

Marc Abraham, Lucy’s Law campaigner and founder of Pup Aid, said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled that Lucy’s Law is now being laid in Parliament and will come into effect from April 2020.

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‘Lucy’s Law is named after one of the sweetest, bravest dogs I’ve ever known, and is a fitting tribute to all the victims of the cruel third party puppy trade, both past and present.’

Undated file photo of a puppy. Pet shops are to be banned from selling kittens and puppies by the Government in a crackdown aimed at stopping puppy farming.
Pet shops are to be banned from selling kittens and puppies by the Government (Picture: PA)

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said he was ‘absolutely thrilled’ with the legislation but it required enforcement, adding that 2018 was the ‘busiest year yet’ with 4,397 complaints about the puppy trade in England alone.

He said: ‘We hope this ban, alongside the tougher licensing regulations that were introduced in October, will help to stamp out the underground trade that exploits these wonderful animals simply to make a quick buck.’