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Lucy's Law Will Make Puppy Farms Illegal In The UK By 2020
Lucy's Law was presented to parliament on Monday after tireless campaigning a bid to give animals "the best possible start in life", said environment secretary Michael Gove.
Named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 from poor treatment as a breeding dog on a puppy farm, the ruling is scheduled to come into force on 6th April 2020.
View this post on InstagramI'm so proud of little Lucy, not a day goes by where she isn't in my thoughts. Days like today make me so proud to see the difference her life continues to make. Days like today are also incredibly hard, I did a radio interview earlier & only just managed to keep it together. Nearly 3 years on & it doesn't get easier but I wouldn't change a thing ...I just wish Lucy was here to see it:sparkling_heart: love you Lucy :rainbow:x
A post shared by Lucy The Rescue Cavalier (@lucytherescuecavalier) on
Lucy's Law will ban the sale of both kittens and puppies from third parties, which will ensure buyers are dealing with breeders directly.
It will mean that animals will need to be born and reared in a safe environment with their mother and sold from their birthplace in England.
It's hoped the rules will also deter smugglers, who abuse the Pet Travel Scheme, from bringing puppies and kittens to the UK to sell them on.
According to the RSPCA, puppy farms breed pets at alarming rates in appalling conditions. The animals are then taken into "normal-looking homes" to sell them on as a cover-up.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Theresa May said: "I'm committed to making the UK the best place in the world for the protection and care of animals. #LucysLaw will end the barbaric practice of rearing puppies and kittens away from their mothers, and ensure they are sold where they are born."
I'm committed to making the UK the best place in the world for the protection and care of animals. #LucysLaw will end the barbaric practice of rearing puppies and kittens away from their mothers, and ensure they are sold where they are born. pic.twitter.com/epk1bsnXd6
- Theresa May (@theresa_may) May 13, 2019
Animal rights campaigners have welcomed news of the bill being presented in parliament on Monday.
Brighton-based vet Marc Abraham, Lucy's Law campaigner and founder of Pup Aid, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that Lucy's Law is now being laid in Parliament and will come into effect from April 2020.
"Lucy's Law is named after one of the sweetest, bravest dogs I've ever known, and is a fitting tribute to all the victims of the cruel third-party puppy trade, both past and present."
The RSPCA was "absolutely thrilled" by Lucy's Law, but said it would require enforcement.
Caroline Yates, of cat and dog charity Mayhew, said: "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."
:movie_camera: WATCH: Delighted that @theresa_may has introduced #LucysLaw to stamp out the horrific practice of puppy and kitten farming.
This law applies to England only. Unless the SNP Government acts now Scotland will become a hub for unscrupulous puppy farmers. #LucysLaw4Scotland #PMQs pic.twitter.com/4wrV2TtjVn
- Ross Thomson MP (@RossThomson_MP) May 15, 2019
Campaigners now hope Scotland and Wales will also introduce similar laws to ensure puppy and kitten farms do not relocate.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/Nathalie Spenher