Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed the introduction of Lucy’s Law, which aims to end puppy and kitten farming.

The legislation to implement this change was laid in Parliament on 13th May, and this change will mean that puppies and kittens can no longer be sold by a third-party seller – such as a pet shop or commercial dealer – unless they have bred the animal themselves. Instead, anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten under six months must either deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre.

The law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being subjected to terrible conditions on a Welsh puppy farm. Dogs like Lucy are often kept by breeders to produce multiple litters of puppies, which are taken from their mothers at just a few weeks’ old and advertised online or sold in pet shops. This practice causes lifelong socialisation issues for the puppy or kitten, as well as preventable diseases. This change will ensure that puppies and kittens are born and reared in a safe environment, with their mother, and sold from their place of birth.

This change follows a long running Parliamentary campaign, which Giles has supported, most notably during a Westminster Hall debate on this matter in May 2018. During that debate, Giles said:

“Experts are clear that if we are to deal effectively with the issue, we need to ban third-party sales while implementing the measures to crack down on unscrupulous puppy breeders. Those two things cannot be separated. I ask that Lucy’s law be introduced without delay.”

Speaking about this piece of legislation, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

“This is about giving our animals the best possible start in life and making sure that no other animal suffers the same fate as Lucy. It will put an end to the early separation of puppies and kittens from their mothers, as well as the terrible conditions in which some of these animals are bred.

“I would like to thank the tireless campaigners and animal lovers who have helped to bring about this positive change. This is all part of our plan to make this country the best place in the world for the protection and care of animals.”

Speaking about this piece of legislation, Giles said:

“I am pleased that the Government have now brought forward the legislation to introduce this ban. I grew up with animals of all sorts and am the proud owner of three fairly noisy but lovely dogs. I also was involved in various television series in the 1990s, and because of that I got involved in breaking up a puppy farming ring in Wales. It is a shame we had to do that, but it taught me a valuable lesson about where many of these puppies come from. So, I hope that this legislation can make its way through Parliament quickly, because we have waited long enough.”