Beginning in 2019, pet stores throughout the United Kingdom will be banned from selling puppies and kittens under the age of 6 months. This legislation was established after public consultations showed 95 percent support for the ban.
The government said the new law will help “end the terrible welfare conditions found in puppy farming and solve a range of existing animal welfare issues”. The government also believes the ban will keep high-volume breeders, both licensed and unlicensed, from supplying pet shops with puppies and kittens raised in unethical conditions. The new law will mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy younger than six months must either deal directly the breeder or, preferably, with a rescue organization.
While this new law won’t completely bring an end to the horrible puppy mill problem in the UK, it will certainly lessen the number of puppies being born in puppy mills, and it will help open the eyes of animal lovers in the UK, who weren’t aware of the serious puppy mill issue.
The measure is commonly known as Lucy’s Law in honor of “Lucy” a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that was rescued from a puppy mill in Wales in 2013. After years of mistreatment, her hips were fused together, and she had a curved spine, bald patches, and epilepsy.
Adopted by Lisa Garner, Lucy lived a happy, comfortable 3 years before she passed away in 2016. Her short life, though plagued with ailments, inspired Garner to launch an effective social media campaign, creating awareness about the treatment of dogs in puppy mills.
Marc Abraham, founder of Pup Aid made the following statement: “This is a real victory for grassroots campaigners as well as the UK’s dogs and cats. Every breeder now becomes accountable and transparent. Prospective owners will always see mum interacting with puppy or kitten in the place they were born, and illegally smuggled pups become more difficult to sell, making it the first major step in tackling irresponsible dog and cat breeding in the UK and beyond.”
David Rutley, UK’s animal welfare minister said: “This ban is part of our commitment to make sure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life. I pay tribute to the Lucy’s Law campaign and the many stakeholders who have passionately campaigned for this ban. Today’s decision builds on our previous action in this area, including banning the sale of puppies under eight weeks and tackling the breeding of dogs with genetic disorders.”
We owe this victory to the hard work of all the animal advocates in the UK and worldwide who fought hard for “Lucy’s Law” including our UK-based Harley’s Heroes!