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Wales to commit to Lucy’s Law

Issue: 09/10/2020

091020-lucy

The Welsh Government has confirmed it plans to ban the third party sales of puppies before the end of the current Senedd.
Known as Lucy’s Law, the measure was introduced in England in April, and campaigners in Wales are ‘pleased’ that the Principality is finally following suit.
In July campaigners were ‘baffled and disappointed’ when they heard that the Welsh Government had decided to hold a second public consultation on the issue.
After the first consultation in July 2019, Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said, ‘Having considered the consultation responses and the demand for improvement to the current system, I propose to introduce a ban on the third party sales of puppies and kittens.’
Since that statement the Welsh Government has been seen by campaigners to be dragging its feet over introducing the legislation and they were worried that time was running out as any new law will have to be introduced before the Senedd dissolves before next year’s Welsh elections.
In a statement on Monday 5 October, Lesley Griffiths said, ‘In June, I launched a public consultation on a ban of third party sales of puppies and kittens in Wales which closed on 17 August 2020.  We sought views and evidence for the proposal to ban of commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens in Wales. 
‘A summary of responses will be published today (5 October) together with the summary from the consultation with children and young people undertaken on our behalf by Children in Wales and with the support of third sector organisations in Wales.
‘The ongoing concern is the commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens may be associated with poorer welfare conditions for the animals compared with direct purchase from the breeder.  
‘For example, the introduction to several new and unfamiliar environments, and the increased likelihood of multiple journeys for such puppies and kittens have the potential to contribute to an increased risk of disease, and lack of socialisation and habituation. 

Responses

‘226 responses were received to the full consultation and 98% of respondents would like to see the end of third party sales for puppies and kittens in Wales. 
‘I would also like to thank Children in Wales who hosted our Children and Young People consultation which received 59 responses from children all across Wales.  96% of the respondents agreed with a ban on commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens in Wales. 
‘I would encourage you to read the views of the children and young people who took the time, during this unprecedented period, to respond to this animal welfare issue.  I am immensely proud future animal owners in Wales have such awareness and sense of responsibility.  Animal welfare was a consistent theme throughout the responses recorded, with a strong view that the welfare of puppies and kittens should be protected.
‘I can confirm that a ban on commercial third party sales will be introduced by the end of this Senedd.’
The Kennel Club welcomed the decision of the Welsh Government to ban third party sales.
Holly Conway, Head of Public Affairs at The Kennel Club commented, ‘We certainly welcome the results of this consultation and that the public overwhelmingly support the move to ban third party sales of puppies in Wales, which we have long-campaigned for and is a vital step forward to tackle the cruel puppy farming industry. 
‘Sadly, too often irresponsible breeders both in Wales and elsewhere have depended on commercial third party sellers – like ‘dealers’ or pet shops – to disguise the horrific conditions puppies are bred and brought up in to the public, readily making a huge profit while causing untold suffering. 
‘When this policy is implemented it should stop the suffering of many dogs and send a very strong message to puppy buyers that it is never ok to see a puppy in any environment other than the one it was born and raised in, and with its mum. 
‘It’s absolutely vital, particularly in the current climate, that people wanting to get a dog take their time to really do their research, find a responsible breeder and bring home a happy, healthy new addition to the family, and avoid any unnecessary suffering caused by quick decisions which play into the hands of profit-hungry puppy farmers. 
‘We call upon the Welsh Government to bring forward this legislation without undue delay.’  

Positive

Vet and Lucy’s Law campaigner Marc Abraham told OUR DOGS, ‘I am pleased it is finally happening but sad that it has taken so long.
‘They have known about this for decades. Sluggishness costs lives.
‘It is a positive step, it could have been done much earlier, not only for the for the breeding dogs but for the puppies.
‘They have issued statement after statement saying they are going to bring in Lucy’s Law.
‘Very good news for dogs but it has taken so long. It is all progress.
‘Thank you to Cariad, Friends of Animals Wales, councillor Maureen Webber, Eluned Morgan, Vicky Howells, Andrew R T Davies, Our Dogs and everyone who has helped the campaign.
‘Most, if not all, the Senedd were supporting and most, if not all, councils supported it. There is just the frustration that it has taken so long.
‘Lucy (the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that inspired the campaign) came from a Welsh breeding farm. So it is has come full circle in a way.
‘Hopefully it will lead to the end of puppy farms. Breeders will now be accountable and once you have accountability and transparency it will be harder for puppy farmers to sell puppies. It is a huge win for campaigners.
‘There is now pressure on Scotland, who promised to bring in Lucy’s Law, and we have heard nothing since.
‘Robin Newton, a DUP member of the Northern Ireland assembly, plans to introduce a Private Members’ Bill to get Lucy’s Law passed in Northern Ireland.
‘Once Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England have passed Lucy’s Law there will be nowhere to go for puppy farmers in the UK.
‘Lucy’s Law in Wales is fantastic.’


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