A law banning the third party sales of puppies and kittens in the UK will come into force next year, as the Environment Secretary Michael Gove laid out the new legislation in Parliament yesterday (13 May).
The new legislation, nicknamed ‘Lucy’s Law’, aims to protect puppies and kittens and put a stop to backyard breeders and puppy farmers, whose unscrupulous methods can cause harm to both pups and mother through the spreading of preventable disease and lack of vital socialisation.
From 6 April 2020, 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 law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being subjected to horrific conditions on a Welsh puppy farm. Puppy farm breeding dogs like Lucy are often used to produce multiple litters and their puppies are taken from them far too early, before being sold in pet shops or advertised online.