Michael Gove and key anti-Puppy Farming campaigner praise Cheltenham MP’s contribution to Lucy’s Law

Cheltenham’s MP, Alex Chalk, has today welcomed the Government’s announcement of a ban on puppy farming in England, following a long running campaign backed by the town’s MP and local animal welfare activists.

Lucy’s Law, which will introduce ban on third-party puppy and kitten sales, will mean anyone seeking to buy or rehome a puppy or kitten will have to deal directly with the breeder or rehoming centre. During the announcement at No 10 Downing Street on Tuesday (21 August), the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove MP, praised Mr Chalk for his long running support for the campaign to put an end to puppy farming. Earlier this year, Mr Gove visited Cheltenham’s Animal Centre following an invite from the town’s MP and met a number of local rescue dogs, including a greyhound called Rafiki.

For too long unethical breeders have kept animals in dirty and crowded conditions, with horror stories of forced pregnancies and maltreatment all too common. Now breeders will only be able to sell puppies they have bred themselves; and online sellers will have to publish their licence number and the pet’s country of origin and country of residence. Lucy’s Law takes its name from a King Charles Spaniel rescued from a puppy farm, whose puppies were removed from their mother just four weeks after their birth. The recommend time for rehoming is eight weeks after birth.

Speaking at the event, Michael Gove said: “A ban on third-party sales will ensure the nation’s much loved pets get the right start in life’’, adding that ‘‘people who have a complete disregard for pet welfare will no longer be able to profit from this miserable trade.”

Marc Abraham, a TV vet and founder PupAid – the anti-puppy farming charity, said ‘‘Alex has made a fantastic contribution to this campaign, offering a legal perspective and meeting me regularly to discuss the next steps. His support has made a real difference. Lucy’s Law will ensure all breeders are accountable, making it the first major step in tackling puppy farm cruelty.