After recent confirmation by the UK Government that Lucy’s Law – the multi-award-winning campaign to ban third party selling of puppies by pet shops and other commercial dealers will soon come into effect in England – all eyes are now on Wales to follow suit.
On Thursday 7th March, opening day of Crufts 2019, the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club, Welsh Kennel Club, and the Kennel Club all joined forces to support the Lucy’s Law campaign for Wales, in a ‘flash mob’ style display of unity from this iconic Welsh breed.
Sporting their own Welsh flag bandanas and bright pink Lucy’s Law rosettes, these beautiful dogs, and their owners, have a clear message for the Welsh Government – to spring into action and finally end the misery caused by the Welsh third party puppy trade; those legal (licensed) dealers or ‘middlemen’ that enable and encourage puppy farm cruelty to happen out of sight on puppy farms, well-away from the puppy-buying public.
Their call is particularly timely as on 19th February 2019 Lesley Griffiths AM, Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, launched the Welsh Government’s 12-week consultation, specifically looking at how introducing Lucy’s Law in Wales will help combat puppy farming; a serious animal welfare issue that has dogged the devolved nation for many decades, leaving it with the unenviable reputation as the puppy farming capital of Great Britain.
Linda Goodman, founder of C.A.R.I.A.D. (Care And Respect Includes All Dogs), the Welsh anti-puppy farming group responsible for spearheading the campaign in Wales, said “There are more licensed and unlicensed puppy farms in Wales than anywhere else on the UK mainland, and at present puppy buyers are not permitted to enter many of these high-volume puppy breeding farms. Instead, these establishments rely on third party dealers and pet shops to sell on litters of puppies to an unsuspecting public.
“This clear lack of transparency and accountability results in the continued neglect and exploitation of breeding dogs, often kept on sawdust in the dark and hidden behind barn doors, while their sick and damaged puppies change hands several times between dealers, often enduring hundreds of miles of transportation and stress, before ending up in family homes.
“If Wales also brings in Lucy’s Law under its devolved powers, prospective dog owners would either have to go directly to the breeder’s establishment and be able to see the biological mother interacting with her litter of puppies or adopt from a reputable rescue centre instead”.
Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club commented “The Kennel Club has long campaigned for the third party ban of sales of dogs in pet shops and we welcome the opportunity to raise awareness at Crufts to help persuade the Welsh Government to adopt Lucy’s Law. Lucy’s Law will stop the suffering of many dogs, sending a very strong message to puppy buyers that it is vital to only buy a puppy in the environment it was born and raised in, and with its mum.”
Dog-lovers nationwide can show their support for the Lucy’s Law campaign in Wales by uploading pictures of their pooch to social media and using the hashtag #LucysLaw4Wales.