Legislation that will to end puppy and kitten farming has been laid before Parliament and will come into force in April 2020.
The Government formally announced the new has been laid in Parliament this week (13 May) by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
Known as ‘Lucy’s Law’, it will mean that puppies and kittens can no longer be sold by a third party seller – such as a pet shop or commercial dealer – unless they have bred the animal themselves. Instead, anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten under six months must either deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre.
The Government said that “This practice causes lifelong socialisation issues for the puppy or kitten, as well as a number of preventable diseases. Today’s legislation will ensure that puppies and kittens are born and reared in a safe environment, with their mother, and sold from their place of birth.”
The decision to ban commercial third party sales was announced in December 2018 and follows years of high-profile campaigning by animal welfare organisations. It was taken following a public consultation, from which there was over 95 per cent support for a ban. Last week the Animal Welfare Minister visited the Mayhew Animal Home in North London, a charity that rehomes puppies and kittens and which supports Lucy’s Law.
The legislation will come into force on 6 April 2020, giving industry and consumers time to prepare for the change.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
“This is about giving our animals the best possible start in life and making sure that no other animal suffers the same fate as Lucy. It will put an end to the early separation of puppies and kittens from their mothers, as well as the terrible conditions in which some of these animals are bred.
“I would like to thank the tireless campaigners and animal lovers who have helped to bring about this positive change.
“This is all part of our plan to make this country the best place in the world for the protection and care of animals.”
Animal Welfare Minister, David Rutley said:
“The legislation laid in Parliament today is the next crucial step in stamping out the appalling trade of farmed puppies and kittens.
“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.”