Last Updated: 15 May 2019
Created: 13 May 2019
Justin Tomlinson MP has celebrated the news this week that a law to ban third-party puppy and kitten sales - which he has actively lobbied Ministers for, and led debates to secure, over past few years - has been presented to Parliament.
The news follows years of campaigning to strengthen the law regarding the selling of puppies and kittens, to ensure that all breeders meet the highest welfare standards.
The current law governing the breeding & sales of pets have become outdated, saying that puppies and kittens can either be purchased via a third-party sellers, or directly from a breeder.
There are no official records of the number of puppies sold via third-parties, which makes it difficult to know how many puppies are bought in this way, but it is believed the number could be as high as 80,000 every year.
While most puppies and kittens are bought through reputable sellers who demand the highest welfare standards, evidence shows that too many of these pets are still being bred in horrific conditions on so-called “puppy farms”, before being passed on to third-party sellers.
These farms see puppies reared in cramped conditions, often with little or no regard for their health, which then has a detrimental impact on their development.
Lucy’s Law will ban third party puppy and kitten sales, meaning that dog and cat owners will have to deal directly with breeders, with all puppies and kittens having to be brought from their place of birth. If successful, the ban would come into force in April next year.
The news has been welcomed by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson who has consistently campaigned for an end to the cruel practice of puppy farming, working alongside Pup Aid ambassador Rachel Riley and TV vet Marc Abrahams.
In 2014, Justin helped lead a cross-party debate on the issue of puppy & kitten smuggling - the first major debate on the issue in the House of Commons ever. The campaign was backed by more than 140,000 people across the country (including thousands from Swindon) who signed a Parliamentary petition set up by Marc Abrahams and the Pup Aid campaign.
Since that debate, Justin has continued to push for changes to law, meeting with experts from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the Kennel Club, and Pup Aid, as well as repeatedly raising the issue with Ministers.
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “I am delighted we are another step closer to banning this cruel practice. This is something I have campaigned for since becoming an MP, and to see the campaign come to a successful conclusion would be fantastic.”