Here’s why you soon won’t be able to buy puppies in pet shops

By Rhona Shennan
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019, 11:11
Puppy farms are set to be a thing of the past in England thanks to Lucy's Law (Photo: Shutterstock)

Parliament has its sights set on cracking down on puppy farms in England thanks to a new law being presented.

Known as Lucy’s Law, the rules and regulations around the sale of puppies and kittens are set to become much stricter.

What is Lucy’s Law?

This new law would ban third parties from the sale of puppies and kittens, meaning that prospective pet owners will have to liase with a breeder directly, or an animal rehoming centre.

It would also dictate that animals must be born and raised in a safe environment, with their mother, and sold to owners from their birthplace.

The law takes aim at those looking to take advantage of the Pet Travel Scheme by bringing young puppies into the UK and selling them on.

David Rutley, Animal Welfare Minister, said, “As well as protecting and improving the lives of animals, it’s also about protecting the public from being tricked by unscrupulous sellers.

“Our ban on third party sales means that people can see first-hand that their new pet is healthy and has come from a responsible breeder.”

This law would come into effect in the spring of 2020.

Who is Lucy?

Originally launched on 6 December, Lucy’s Law is named after Lucy, a cavalier king charles spaniel that was rescued from a puppy farm in Wales. She had suffered terribly, resulting in fused hips, a curved spine, bald patches and epilepsy.

After having lived most of her life in a cage and was now unable to have puppies, Lucy was rescued by Lisa Garner.

With Lisa, Lucy enjoyed three years of quality love and care until she passed away. Lucy’s story inspired Lisa to set up the campaign.

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Environment Secretary Michael Gove stated that these new rules are aimed to give animals “the best start in life.”

The RSPCA expressed their excitement over the new law, but also wanted to draw attention to the fact that enforcement would be required.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said, “We’re absolutely thrilled with today’s announcement which, if properly enforced, will help protect thousands of puppies and their mothers who are the victims of this horrific trade.”

Every year the RSPCA investigates concerns regarding animal welfare, with Sherwood stating, “Last year (2018) was the busiest year yet for our inspectors who received 4,397 complaints about the puppy trade in England alone - a 162 per cent increase on five years ago.”

What is puppy farming?

The Kennel Club defines a puppy farmer as “a high volume breeder who breeds puppies with little or no regard for the health and welfare of the puppies or their parents.”

The main motivation of a puppy farm is to drive profits. This means that they disregard vital guidelines for dogs, such how many litters a dog can have.

They also go on to take the puppy away from its mother and birthplace too quickly and also fail to follow basic health measures for puppy and mother.

The Kennel Club states, “The puppies bred by puppy farmers are more likely to suffer from common, preventable, infectious diseases, painful or chronic inherited conditions and shorter life spans.”

They also fail to give the puppy proper socialisation which can then lead to behavioural issues.

“Puppy traffickers are buying puppies 'wholesale' looking for the highest profit margin and are leaving a trail of sick and dead puppies behind them,” according to the RSPCA.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, The Sheffield Star