Following 10 years of high-profile campaigning from animal activists including Rachel Riley and Ricky Gervais, the government has announced that it has passed Lucy's Law, banning the sale of puppies and kittens in England by pet shops, online pet dealers, puppy farms and other commercial third-party sellers.
Lucy's Law means that anyone wanting to get a new cat or dog must now buy direct from a puppy or kitten breeder, or consider adopting one from an animal shelter or rescue centre. Licensed breeders must now show puppies with their mother, and be sold in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for six months.
The law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who rescued from the terrible conditions of a puppy farm. Puppy farms depend on third-part sellers or 'dealers' to sell often sick, traumatised, unsocialised puppies which have been taken away from their mother at just a few weeks old. These animals are often transported long-distances, with the puppy or kitten suffering life-threatening problems and passed onto unsuspecting new owners – the new law means all dog and cat breeders will be held accountable for the welfare of their puppies and kittens for the first time.
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TV vet Marc Abraham, founder of Pup Aid and the Lucy's Law campaign, said: "I'm incredibly proud to have led the 10-year campaign to ban cruel puppy and kitten dealers and to get this essential Lucy's Law legislation over the line. Lucy was an incredibly brave dog, and it's right that her memory is honoured with such an important piece of legislation to help end puppy farm cruelty; protecting breeding dogs just like her, as well as cats, their young, and also unsuspecting animal-lovers from the dangers of irresponsible breeding and cruel puppy and kitten dealers."
TV vet Marc Abraham, who has spearheaded the Lucy's Law campaign
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Last month, the Government launched the Petfished campaign to highlight these conditions and the deceitful tactics pet sellers use to trick buyers into thinking they are responsible breeders selling healthy animals.
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