Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Animal Welfare, David Rutley, visited Mayhew to reveal the news and speak to us about the benefits of the new legislation.
The Minister met CEO Caroline Yates and members of our Animal Welfare team, as well as some of the dogs, cats, kittens and puppies whom we are currently caring for.
Speaking at Mayhew, Minister Rutley said “The legislation laid in Parliament today is the next crucial step in stamping out the appalling trade of farmed puppies and kittens.”
“As well as protecting and improving the lives of animals, our ban will also protect the public from being tricked by unscrupulous sellers. It means that people can see first-hand that their new pet is healthy, and has come from a responsible breeder.”
Known as “Lucy’s Law”, the legislation will mean that anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten must either deal directly with the breeder, or visit a registered rehoming centre or shelter.
The decision to ban third party sales follows years of high profile campaigning by animal welfare charities including Mayhew, and was taken following a public consultation in 2018 which revealed a 95% support for ban.
Lucy’s Law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who died in 2016 after being subjected to terrible conditions on a Welsh puppy farm.
Dogs and cats like Lucy are often kept in harmful environments where their welfare needs are not met, and forced into producing multiple litters which are then sold via third parties online or in pet shops.
This practice causes lifelong socialisation issues for the animals, as well as increasing the likelihood of them developing preventable diseases. Today’s legislation will ensure that puppies and kittens are born and brought up in a safe environment, and are kept with their mother and sold directly from their place of birth with the mother present.
Caroline Yates, CEO said “Mayhew is very pleased to hear that Lucy’s Law has now been laid in Parliament. We have long supported the call to ban third party puppy and kitten sales; and we are delighted that such legislation will come into force next year and make a difference to the lives of countless animals.
“This ban is a great step forward in improving animal welfare standards, and together with the tighter licensing laws introduced last October, will result in significantly fewer animals being bred in and passed around harmful or unsuitable environments by unscrupulous breeders and dealers.
“We hope this legislation will also encourage potential pet owners to first think about visiting their local rehoming shelters when searching for a puppy or dog, cat or kitten to adopt into their families.”
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