England will introduce law to stop puppy farmers, so why won’t Wales?

This is Erica, a bichon discarded by a commercial puppy farm when she was too sick to be of any further use for breeding.

She lived for just 49 days after being handed to a rescue charity in Wales.

So why is the Welsh Government being so slow at introducing Lucy’s Law, named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a breeding farm?

The law will tackle this cruel trade by making it illegal for pet shops, online businesses and all other third-party dealers to sell puppies.

Lucy’s Law will come into effect in England in April, but animal welfare is a devolved power and Wales, the epicentre of puppy farms, has yet to approve it.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government said: “Banning third-party sales by itself is unlikely to end puppy farming overnight.

“We also need to find out what is preventing local authorities from effectively enforcing existing laws.”

One infuriated campaigner is Eileen Jones of Friends of Animals Wales , the charity that took in poor Erica. Everyday this month she has been tweeting an "advent calendar" of a different dog that has suffered at the hands of ruthless puppy farmers.

“I am so angry, frustrated and feel incredibly let down,” she said.

"Wales is the source of so many of the sick puppies that are pedalled to unsuspecting families.

"Horrific cruelty is being ignored and despite overwhelming evidence provided from many different  sources Welsh Government fails to act.

"They profess horror when faced with images of this vile trade but drag their feet whilst these dogs continue to suffer.

"They mount an online campaign warning prospective purchases of the risk of illegal dog breeders but fail to acknowledge they reside over a licensing and inspection system that fails both animals and the public.

'I appreciate they want to get it right but a ban on third party dealing would be a quick win with further legislation to follow.

"So many Assembly Members of all political persuasion have supported Lucy's Law yet dogs are left to rot in hell holes whilst the Welsh Government procrastinates."

In May I reported that Lucy's Law was going through Parliament in an astonishing victory for England by grass roots campaigners and volunteers who did not have the backing of the major dog charities.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “This is about giving our animals the best possible start in life and making sure that no other animal suffers the same fate as Lucy.

"It will put an end to the early separation of puppies and kittens from their mothers, as well as the terrible conditions in which some of these animals are bred.

“I would like to thank the tireless campaigners and animal lovers who have helped to bring about this positive change."

Brighton vet Marc Abraham said: “I was never going to give up. In the end it was a victory for grass roots campaigners and animal welfare.”

I sense that the campaigners are never going to give up until Wales and Scotland follow the example of England.

  • Picking up the pieces of the puppy farming trade – how one charity has saved thousands of dogs like Dilyn

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