A Catholic MP has welcomed landmark new legislation banning the sale of puppies and kittens from third-party sellers.
Maria Caulfield, the Conservative MP for Lewes, described the new legislation, known as Lucy’s Law, as “a significant milestone for animal welfare”.
Under Lucy’s Law, puppies and kit- tens can no longer be sold in England by a third-party – such as a pet shop or dealer – unless they have bred the animal. It means that buyers planning to buy or adopt an animal under six months old must deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre.
“This is a significant milestone for animal welfare, and a major step to- wards ending cruel puppy farming and smuggling,” said Ms Caulfield.
“After all the hard work of Marc Abraham and the Lucy’s Law campaign, I’m so pleased that we finally have this crucial legislation which will help tackle the heart-breaking third-party trade of dogs and cats.
“But we also need the public to do their bit to help by always asking to see puppies and kittens interacting with their mothers in their place of birth, looking out for the warning signs, and reporting any suspicious activity,” Ms Caulfield continued.
“By raising awareness of illegal sellers to the local authorities, we can all help to protect the nation’s cats and dogs and give them the best start in life.”
The law is named after a Cavalier King Charles spaniel called Lucy who died in 2016 after being kept in poor conditions on a puppy farm.
Marc Abraham, media vet, author, 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.
“I’d like to give a huge thanks to UK Government for passing this law, as well as every animal-loving parliamentarian, celebrity, welfare organisation, and member of the public that supported us.
“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.”
As well as Lucy’s Law, the Government has committed to supporting tougher sentences for animal cruelty, raising maximum prison sentences from six months to five years, and has pledged to bring in new laws on animal sentience and to end excessively long journeys for live animals while being bought and sold.
Picture: Labrador puppies. (David Jones/PA).