The government has announced a consultation to introduce a ban on commercial third party puppy and kitten sales in England, marking a victory for Lucy’s Law campaigners.
If this is introduced, anyone who is not a professional breeder will not be able to sell a puppy or a kitten and potential owners will have to go to a breeder or rescue centre for any puppies or kittens which are younger than six months.
This is in addition to new laws which are set to come into force on 1 October which will ban licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks and tighten the compulsory licensing of anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs.
This decision has been influenced by the Lucy’s Law campaign and its supporters, which was established after the poor treatment of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm.
A petition supporting the campaign was signed by nearly 150,000 people and was debated in Parliament in May.
There are no official records of the number of puppies sold via third-parties, but The Blue Cross has estimated it is between 40,000 and 80,000 in Great Britain per year.
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 All Dogs (CARIAD), and Canine 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.”