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.
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