New legislation to prevent ‘third-party’ sales of puppies and kittens is being laid in Parliament today. This means that puppies and kittens may only be sold by the person who bred them or a rescue centre, and not a pet shop or commercial dealer, from 6th April 2020.
The new law is intended to reduce the suffering of breeding dogs and puppies on so-called ‘puppy farms’, and also the illegal importation of puppies.
However, while the law is welcomed by many animal welfare groups, there are concerns that the law may not be robust enough unless it is properly enforced and that there is better regulation of rehoming organisations and rescue centres.
The law is named after Lucy, who was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who suffered dreadfully before she was rescued from a puppy farm. Lucy died in 2016 but her legacy will live on.
Next month it will be a year since Lucy passed away.Those first 5 years of her life trapped on a puppy farm finally caught up with her frail, damaged body. Lucy had 3 & half yrs of freedom & we adored her,but she deserved so much more time to live a life full of love. Love u Lucy pic.twitter.com/aDcDQ81J25
— Lucy Rescue Cavalier (@Lucy_Cavalier) November 12, 2017
How to avoid buying a farmed puppy or kitten
- Always see the puppy or kitten interacting with their mother and siblings. If the ‘breeder’ says they are ‘out for a walk’ or ‘at the vets’, walk away.
- Do not take your puppy or kitten away on the day you meet them. If you feel pressured into doing this, the breeder is most likely a dealer or puppy farmer.
- Puppies and kittens should be with their mothers until at least 8 weeks of age.
- If you are concerned about the condition of the puppies or kittens, do not part with any money as you will be supporting poor welfare practices if you do. Instead, walk away and contact the RSPCA, Police and/or Trading Standards.
- Make sure your new puppy or kitten and their parents have had the relevant health tests for the breed and see all documentation (see the Kennel Club or GCCF website for information).