Huge success for campaigners of Lucy’s Law yesterday, 22 August, as the Government announces their support of the outright ban on third party puppy and kitten sales and has published a consultation on the plans.

We will be making sure that the third party sale of pets, of kittens and of puppies, ends

Campaigners have been working extremely hard to spread awareness of the animal welfare issue and undoubtedly will all be pleased to see such a quick response to the issue and the immense support they have gained from the public.

This ban will mean anyone wishing to adopt or buy a puppy or kitten must either deal directly with the breeder or with an animal rehoming centre and not through unethical third party sellers, which includes pet shops and online dealers.

The campaign arose after horrendous amount of cases of puppies and kittens being kept in poor conditions, along with their mothers that were solely used for breeding. This lead to heartbroken owners unknowingly buying pets that came with poor health conditions and were unlikely to survive.

Named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles, who was rescued from a puppy farm where she was used for breeding, Lucy’s Law was established to put an end to third party sales and although Lucy is no longer with us, her owner Lisa Garner, and campaign groups such as Pup Aid and CARIAD have continued her legacy.

In his speech at Number 10 Downing Street, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said, “Today we are making a significant announcement in the history of animal welfare and the protection of companion animals and pets.

“From tomorrow we will absolutely confirm that we will be consulting on how we implement Lucy’s Law.

“We will be making sure that the third party sale of pets, of kittens and of puppies, ends.

“Far too many of the pets that people, with the best will in the world, bring into their homes we know have been brought up in squalid circumstances. In circumstances of pain and suffering and misery which should never be inflicted on any living thing.

“That’s why, by making it absolutely clear that if you’re going to buy a puppy or kitten in the future, that you need to be absolutely certain that you can buy it from an ethical, regulated breeder. Who can show you the parent of that puppy or kitten.”

Lisa Garner and her dog Lucy

Gove also gave credit to the campaigners, including campaign founder vet Marc Abraham and said, “Mark’s pioneering work as a vet, as someone who puts animal welfare at the heart of everything that he does, has been inspirational.”

Marc also thanked everyone involved in his own speech at number 10, “I can’t thank everyone enough. Everyone here has played a part in getting to here and being in earshot of that most incredible speech we’ve heard.

“It shows that the campaigners can do it. It shows that if you get blocked there’s a way around it. If you get blocked again there’s a way around that as well. It shows that if you have the minimum resources and you’re doing it in your spare time you can still get here and actually get positive results.”

RSPCA deputy chief executive Chris Wainwright responding to the support gained from the Government, and in a statement said, “We’re delighted that the UK Government has committed to a programme of reforms to animal welfare law, including this announcement on how to bring in the ban on third-party sales of puppies and kittens in England.

Marc Abraham with Lisa Garner and Peter Egan

“Our work to tackle the puppy trade means we’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact that unscrupulous breeders and third-party dealers can have on dogs and people. It’s disgusting that these sellers can make so much money from the misery of animals and prospective owners.

We welcome Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s announcement to launch a consultation on how to ban third-party sales with the aim of ensuring buyers buy directly from responsible breeders or rehome from rescue centres. We believe that all puppies and kittens should be born and reared in a suitable environment, with their mother, and should be sold directly from their place of birth.

We hope this move – along with the new enhanced licensing regime and proper enforcement – will offer better protection to puppies and their parents and reduce the number of families duped by rogue dealers in this illegal multi-million-pound industry.”

The consultation has now been launched and seeks the views of the public on plans to introduce the ban. The consultation will be open until 11:45pm on 19 September 2018.

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