New laws are set to crack down on the farming of puppies and kittens in the United Kingdom. The sale of puppies and kittens under 6 months of age is to be banned in pet shops, from online dealers, and other commercial sellers.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove praised the ban, which is intended to put a stop to the horrific dog-breeding conditions of some sellers.
“We will eliminate puppy farming,” Grove stated in a speech. “We will make sure third party sales of kittens and 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.”
The purpose of this new legislation is to help buyers determine where the animal came from, the conditions it was raised in, and the living conditions of the mother. Groves told Sky News:
“What we want to do is to try to make sure that anyone who has a pet will know that that puppy has been brought up in the right circumstances.
“That means we are seeking to outlaw third-party sales and say that you can only buy a puppy from a legitimate breeder, someone that you can visit, that you can see that puppy alongside their mom so that you know that animal has been brought up in a caring environment.”
The law follows a nine-year campaign called “Lucy’s Law,” led by Marc Abraham, a vet from the Pup Aid organization.
“For years irresponsible breeders in the UK and abroad—puppy farmers—have always used third parties to keep themselves well-hidden from the buying public,” said Abraham.
“By banning third party sellers, Lucy’s Law will ensure all breeders are accountable, making it the first major step in tackling puppy farm cruelty.”
Abraham started Pup Aid after hearing the story of a King Charles spaniel named Lucy who was used as a “breeding bitch” in appalling conditions for five years and was rescued in 2013.
The demand for puppies is far greater than the supply from ethical breeders in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, new regulations could make it more difficult for those breeders to operate.
The Pet Industry Federation, which represents over 2,000 pet businesses in the United Kingdom, told Sky News, “New animal activities licensing regulations, which cover dog breeding and pet vending, will raise the bar on businesses that are involved in these activities.
“We are concerned that if an outright ban on third-party sales be brought in without allowing the new regulations to become established, this would potentially lead to sales going underground.”
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