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Lucy’s Law comes into force

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Brown puppy looks at camera

There has been media coverage today on the introduction of the landmark legislation to tackle the low-welfare, high volume supply of puppies and kittens, Lucy’s Law, in the Daily Mirror, the Guardian, the i and the Independent. The banning of commercial third-party sale of puppies and kittens in England is the result of a decade-long campaign led by media vet and author, Marc Abraham.

‘Lucy’s Law’ means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers 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 up to six months.

The Daily Mirror and Independent pieces focus solely on the new legislation but the coverage in the Guardian and the I links the law to the huge surge in demand of people adopting dogs and kittens whilst in Coronavirus lockdown. These two pieces contain comments from animal charities such as the Kennel Club and the Dog’s Trust who urge prospective dog or cat owners to responsibly source their new pets.

Animal welfare minister Lord Goldsmith said:

Today is a significant milestone for animal welfare, and a major step towards ending cruel puppy farming and smuggling. 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. 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.

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.

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  1. Comment by Linda Stevenson posted on

    Thank you for keeping us updated.
    I live in Weymouth Dorset as a dog walker who lives close to our beaches we have been walking on our beach as part of our once a daily exercise.
    Our beach offers a safe place for our local community to walk.
    From Good Friday this space will be closed to us, along with the closest park.
    Since the introduction of the Public Open Space Protection Orders in May 2016 there have been changed made to shared footpath to allow Cyclist, Skateboarding scooters in 2019.
    In view of this we have written to Dorset Council asking for them to relax this ban.
    We explained many people will have to travel by car to find a space where there is a safe clear distance.
    Unfortunately they decided the ban should be implemented, which will involve our local community support officers asking us to leave the empty beach and walk on the Esplanade where at times the width is only 2 metres
    This will impact on our dog walking Community, who are being forced to walk on the road to maintain social distance.

  2. Comment by Suzi posted on

    It is right and good that this law has come into place, however, with all rescue centres closing down to the public during this CV19 pandemic, where do you think people are going to go for their puppies and kittens to see them through the boredom of this??

    Some people want to pay the cheapest (and I do mean cheapest, not least expensive) for a pet, so these people will just be driven underground.