New puppy farming law due before NI Assembly

New legislation aimed at ending puppy farming is being drafted and will soon come before the NI Assembly, Robin Newton has said.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 3:36 pm
A dog is treated by RSPCA staff after it was rescued from the puppy farm run by a man who was jailed for six months for animal cruelty offences. Photo: PA

Named ‘Lucy’s Law’ after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that endured terrible conditions at a dog breeding enterprise, the Private Members Bill would make it illegal sells pups without a licence, the DUP MLA said.

The legislation has already been enacted in England and Scotland. It is due to become law in Wale in October this year.

As a result of the English legislation, anyone who wants a new puppy or kitten must buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead.

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Licenced dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers at their place of birth, and, if a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or up to six months in prison.

Mr Newton said: “I have been greatly encouraged by support from both the general public, animal welfare groups and a number of local councils.

“It is an important piece of legislation to address this area of animal cruelty. I have been working with Marc Abraham, the vet who spearheaded the campaign for Lucy’s Law in England and Linda Goodman of the CARIAD charity in Wales which has been part of the campaign there.”

He added: “Northern Ireland must follow the example which has already been set in other parts of the UK.”

The English ‘Lucy’s Law’ legislation can be found here