MPs have called in parliament for the introduction of Lucy’s Law – named after a cavalier spaniel rescued from a puppy farm cage
A campaign to ban the sale of puppies without their mother being present could help bring an end to the trade of animals bred in horrific puppy farms.
Puppies are being mass produced in farms where they can be separated from their mothers too early, kept in cruel conditions and transported long distances to be sold.
Now MPs have called in parliament for the introduction of Lucy’s Law – named after a cavalier spaniel rescued from a puppy farm cage – that will make it illegal to sell puppies unless their mother is present.
Sellers would also have to allow potential buyers on to their premises which will mean they must ensure proper conditions for the dogs or risk being exposed.
If enacted, Lucy’s Law could end the suffering of tens of thousands of dogs across the country.
Launching the campaign this week, Scottish National Party MP Dr Lisa Cameron, chairman of the all-party parliamentary dog advisory welfare group, said: ‘Puppy farming is enabled – even encouraged – by third-party sellers such as pet shops and puppy dealers which are vessels for irresponsible, low-welfare commercial dog breeding in the UK and abroad.
‘Lucy’s Law means putting an end to the legal sale of puppies through third-party agents licensed by the Government as pet shops – basically anyone in the business of commercially buying and selling puppies without their mums – and not just from high street premises.
‘(It) will go a long way towards eradicating the unacceptable activity of puppy farming, smuggling, and most forms of irresponsible dog breeding and selling.’
The mass production of puppies in farms can see them forced into dark cages, left totally unsocialised and riddled with diseases.
Puppies are being mass produced in farms where they can be separated from their mothers too early
The puppies are then transported to be sold via pet shops, newspaper adverts, websites and private dealers.
They often die soon after reaching their new home or need expensive treatment for health and behavioural problems.
The RSPCA has seen a 132 per cent rise in the number of complaints it has received about the country’s multi-million pound black market trade in back street puppy sales over the past five years.
The charity, which backs the new campaign, says it has uncovered criminal gangs making up to £35,000 a week by selling fashionable breeds and designer crossbreeds.
Lucy’s Law is also backed by TV vet Marc Abraham who launched the Pup Aid ‘Where’s Mum?’ campaign in 2015 to ensure that puppies are kept with their mothers and not sold through third-party sellers.
Man puppies are being kept in cruel conditions and transported long distances to be sold
He says that while the public are told they should always see the mother before buying a puppy, the Government allows licensed pet shops and breeders to break its own advice.
Cavalier spaniel Lucy was rescued from a Welsh puppy farm in 2013 with a curved spine from being kept in a cramped cage, as well as epilepsy and other problems. Despite being nursed back to health she died last year.
The RSPCA said it ‘strongly supports a ban on third-party sales of puppies along with effective and properly enforced licensing of breeders.
‘We believe that all puppies should be with their mother and should be sold directly from their place of birth’.