New law in England cracks down on 'puppy farm' cruelty
With the adoption of 'Lucy’s Law' last week, third party puppy and kitten sales are officially banned in England. UK’s Animal Welfare Party welcomes the new legislation as an important first step to end puppy farm cruelty and advocates additional measures to prevent the suffering, abandonment and disposal of pets.
Lucy’s Law - named after a dog who was saved in 2013 after years of abuse as a puppy farm breeding bitch - is the result of eleven years of grassroots campaigning against the abuse and suffering related to the large scale commercial breeding and trade of animal companions.
Lucy and thousands of dogs like her are the victims of overbreeding, neglect and disposal when eventually infertile. Many breeding bitches in commercial dog breeding establishments are kept in poor living conditions, alone in the dark without human or canine company, leading to debilitating health conditions and behavioural problems. Many puppies, often sick, traumatised and sometimes underage, end up being bought by unsuspecting prospective owners after being transported over long distances.
To sell their puppies, puppy farms in the UK and in Europe rely on third-party sellers. Thanks to Lucy’s Law this third party chain is now removed in England and only two legal options to obtain a puppy remain: directly from the breeder or by adopting from a reputable rescue centre.
Additional measures needed
To further tackle the suffering of animal companions worldwide, the Dutch Party for the Animals and it’s British sister party, the Animal Welfare Party, propose a series of additional measures. These include tighter licencing of breeders based on strict animal welfare conditions and improved registration of traders and animals.
The Party for the Animals also wants tighter control and more severe punishment of animal related criminality, including animal abuse and illegal breeding and trade. The parties also press for a ban on the sale of animals in retail stores and on online platforms, in order to prevent impulse purchases and subsequent abandonment of animals. They emphasize the need for public education on pet ownership as well as encouraging spaying and neutering, and the re-homing of existing animals. The central message is: "Adopt - don’t shop!".