Known as 'Lucy’s Law' and named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being subjected to appalling conditions on a Welsh puppy farm, the legislation will mean that anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten must now either deal directly with a breeder or visit an animal rehoming centre or shelter.
Lucy’s Law means that puppies and kittens can no longer be sold by or through a third party; for example a commercial pet shop. Only breeders who have bred the animal themselves will be legally allowed to sell puppies and kittens to prospective pet owners, from the animal’s place of birth.
This means that anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten under six months old must either deal directly with a breeder, or an animal rehoming centre. Puppy sales will only legally be completed after they are eight weeks old from the home or environment in which they were born and within the presence of the breeder and the mother.
The ban will put an end to the early separation of puppies and kittens from their mothers, as well as the terrible conditions in which some animals are bred. Such practices can cause lifelong socialisation issues for the animals, as well as increasing the likelihood of them developing preventable diseases. Besides protecting and improving animals lives, the ban will also protect the public from being tricked by unscrupulous sellers and deter puppy smugglers who abuse the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) by bringing underage puppies into the UK, which are then sold on for financial gain.
Mayhew’s support for Lucy’s Law
The decision to ban third party sales follows years of high profile campaigning by animal welfare charities including Mayhew and was taken following a public consultation in 2018 that revealed a 95% support for the ban.
The RSPB has collected top ten signs of spring that you may see from your garden:
3 Migrants returning – spring sees the return of migrant birds to the UK. In your garden you may be able to admire swooping swifts, marvel at sand martins balancing on telephone wires or hear the nightingales chirping call.
4 Bats waking up – you may start to see bats coming out to feast on insects in your garden – a single pipistrelle bat can eat 3,000 gnats in one night!
5 Bluebells – if you have any bluebells, now is the best time of year to see them burst into bloom, transforming the ground into a sea of blue.
6 Dragonflies return - the common darter dragonfly will start to come out. These regular visitors to gardens perch on vegetation, walls, fences, garden canes and washing lines as they wait to catch their prey, which, for a common darter dragonfly, is pretty much anything they can catch.
7 Frogspawn in ponds/toadlets emerging - If you have a pond in your garden, you may start to see tiny toadlets emerging. They love juicy insect larvae, spiders, slugs and worms, so you can create a toad haven by making your garden as insect-friendly as possible. Leave your leaves to dissolve in the ground rather than raking them up, planting wildflowers, or building a bug hotel!
8 Blossoms – if you’ve got crab apple or cherry trees in your garden they’ll be starting to burst into bloom. Bees love crab apple’s pink blossoms, while the cherry tree blossom holds both the male and reproductive parts in the same flower.
9 Grass snakes waking up - Grass snakes start to wake up from hibernation around now to look for a mate, so you might see one in your garden or park. The females lay eggs in places such as compost heaps where the rotting vegetation can keep the eggs nice and warm, so be sure to check any piles in your garden before moving them.
10 Dawn chorus for early risers on light mornings – from around March to July birds are looking to defend their territories and attract a mate, which means an early start! The first birds start singing about an hour before sunrise, with skylarks, song thrushes, robins and blackbirds starting off the choir. The early part of the day is perfect for birds, dark enough that predators can’t see them and the still air can carry song about 20 times as far. There’s always the RSPB bird radio if you can’t get enough and want to listen to birdsong throughout the day.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and 12 x author. I'm published in national and regional papers / magazines.