Lucy's Law - sale of puppies and kittens in the UK

Changes have been made to the sale of puppies and kittens in the UK, commonly known as Lucy’s Law, it prohibits the sale of kittens and puppies (under six months old) by third party sellers and pet shops from the 6 April 2020.

Under this new legislation, it will ban the sale of puppies or kittens from anyone but the original breeder, cutting out third parties – such as online retailers /dealers or pet shops, and cracking down on so-called puppy farms. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy puppies or kittens but instead only legally buy them directly from the breeders or from rescue centres.

Previously young puppies and kittens could be transported long distances and moved from location to location before finding their permanent owner, which is detrimental to their welfare.

When you do buy a kitten or puppy from a breeder in England they need to be licensed and are also obliged to show the mother interacting with her puppies and at their actual place of birth. Any unlicensed breeders face being sent to prison for up to six months and a large fine.

We hope this legislation will encourage responsible breeding and provide greater transparency for people who wish to purchase a puppy or kitten. It also bans the sales of non-mammals that cannot feed themselves, un-weaned mammals, such as ferrets and rabbits under 8 weeks of age.

DEFRA guidance for animal activity licences for breeding dogs and selling animals as pets have been updated in line with this amendment.

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