A ban on third party puppy and kitten sales in England will be introduced to help drive up animal welfare standards, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced today.
He went on to say “A ban on third party sales will ensure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life. I pay tribute to the Lucy’s Law campaign, spearheaded by PupAid, Care And Respect Includes All Dogs (CARIAD), and Canine Action UK, who have fought tirelessly for this step. People who have a complete disregard for pet welfare will no longer be able to profit from this miserable trade”.
The Story Behind Lucy’s Law: Who was Lucy?
Lucy was a King Charles Spaniel; a victim of the puppy farm system who had been
used for breeding for many years with no regard for her health or welfare. Fortunately she was rescued and adopted by Lisa Garner in 2013. Lucy became the symbol and mascot of anti-puppy farm campaigning. She died in December 2016, and Lucy’s Law is named in her honour.
Lucy’s Law was launched in December 2017 at a reception hosted by vet and
campaigner, Marc Abraham, of PupAid, and supported by APDAWG, the All Party
Parliamentary Group for dog welfare, chaired by MP Lisa Cameron. Lucy’s Law has
been championed by Andrew Penman of the Daily Mirror, and has received significant attention and support, from MPs across all parties, from the press and in social media.
What was the problem with commercial third party sales?
The sale of puppies through commercial third party dealers both sustains and is
dependent upon the existence of “puppy farms”, where puppies are bred for maximum
profit and with minimal regard for animal welfare. Although very few high street pet
shops sell puppies these days, the third party trade remains significant with dealers
operating from a diverse array of premises including private homes and puppy
superstores. Some commercial dog breeders are also selling bought in puppies
alongside those they have bred on site. As many as 80,000 puppies may be sold by
licensed third party sellers each year.
What are the animal welfare issues?
This activity can seriously harm animal welfare, from the trauma of transportation, the
increased risk of exposure to disease, behavioural problems resulting from premature
separation from the mother and lack of appropriate socialisation. Puppies may be born
with debilitating inherited diseases and are at a high risk of catching life threatening
canine diseases, such as parvo virus. These are problems that can last for a dog’s
lifetime, or can bring its life to an early end. Poor hygiene standards throughout the
chain frequently mean that puppies may also carry infections, which can be
transmissible to humans. The puppy market is very lucrative which means there are
big financial incentives for breeders and sellers to minimise costs in order to maximise
profits. Due to the number of “links” in the chain, it is difficult to determine where a
specific problem has originated and this means that breeders and sellers can continue
to reap the benefits of selling sick puppies with almost no likelihood of repercussion.
Watch the champions of Lucy’s Law set the campaign against puppy farming into motion: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-champions-lucys-law-set-11661996
Investigative Journalism By Andrew Penman of The Daily Mirror
The campaign received huge support from Andrew Penman of The Daily Mirror who ensured that the fight for Lucy’s Law remained in the limelight with regular full-page updates a selection of which are below:
The Government’s full statement: Government backs ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens
And finally, the beautiful dog who’s short life sparked the fight for Lucy’s Law, Lucy The Cavalier. Lucy only enjoyed 3 & half years of freedom, the first 5 years of her life were stolen by the cruel puppy farming industry. Lucy’s life was NOT in vain, she can now sleep peacefully. God Bless Angel X.
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