In an effort to improve the welfare of dogs and cats around the country, the government has announced plans to ban pet shops and commercial dealers from selling puppies and kittens. So, what does this involve and what does this mean for people looking to buy a new furry friend? Read on to find out.

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What are the new rules?

The proposed regulations, which are out for consultation until September 19th, would mean that third-party dealers in England will not be able to sell puppies and kittens under six months old. They were put forward as part of a campaign called Lucy’s Law, which was launched to try to reduce the amount of animals kept in puppy and kitten farms in poor conditions. Almost 150,000 people signed a petition to support Lucy’s Law and Parliament debated it in May.

Why should third-party sales be banned?

Animal welfare campaigners have flagged a number of concerns about the treatment of animals sold through third-parties. For example, puppies and kittens could be separated from their mothers when they are very young, they may have to go on multiple journeys and be placed in new and unfamiliar environments. This could increase the animals’ risks of disease and take away opportunities for them to properly socialise.

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How did Lucy’s Law come about?

Lucy’s Law was named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a Welsh puppy farm in 2013, when she was five-years-old. While on the farm, she had been forced to breed and kept in a cramped cage. Due to the inhumane conditions she faced, she suffered a number of ailments including malnourishment, a curved spine and epilepsy. Lucy sadly passed away in 2016.

How would the ban affect me?

Currently, the planned ban is in consultation and you can submit your views here. If Lucy’s Law passes, then you will need to visit a breeder directly or an animal shelter if you intend to buy a new puppy or kitten in England. For example, this law could effectively result in a ban on puppy farms – we have previously written about the problems with these places. You also will not be able to buy puppies or kittens from pet shops unless they are bred there. Separate to this law, a ban on the sale of puppies under eight weeks old will come in to effect on the 1st of October.

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Where can I buy a healthy new pet?

Whether or not Lucy’s Law comes into effect, it’s worth going to a reputable breeder or an animal shelter if you’re looking to buy a new pet. If you decide to visit a breeder then ask to see where the puppies or kittens are usually kept and make sure you witness them with their mother and siblings. Don’t buy a new young cat or dog on impulse and consider it a warning sign if the seller tries to pressure you to do so.

If Lucy’s Law comes to pass then hopefully this will ensure that many puppies and kittens will have a better start to life and owners can enjoy many magical adventures with their pets. For added peace of mind, if you have a pet or are planning to get one, it could be worth getting pet insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, our cat insurance and dog insurance policies include a range of benefits such as Vet’s Fees and Loss By Theft Or Straying. There is also up to 30% Discount* available on new policies. Stop by The Insurance Emporium today to find out more!

*The 30% discount is available on lunar and calendar monthly policies and policies where the premium is paid annually. It is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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