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Lucy's Law bid: MLA Woods behind petition to stamp out third party sale of puppies

Woods in push to extend Lucy's Law to NI to end callous breeding trade


Petition: Dogs which were rescued from a puppy farm

Petition: Dogs which were rescued from a puppy farm

Petition: Dogs which were rescued from a puppy farm

A petition to ban third party sales of puppies and kittens will today be submitted to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Lucy's Law will require anyone seeking to purchase a new puppy or kitten in Northern Ireland to deal directly with a breeder rather than buying from a third-party seller.

Green Party MLA Rachel Woods is to submit the petition calling on Minister for the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots to implement the legislation in Northern Ireland.

With over 2,800 signatures at the time of printing, Lucy's Law is named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who suffered a litany of physical ailments, including a curved spine, bald patches and infused hips, while kept in a puppy farm in Wales.

Following her rescue in 2013, Lucy's owner Lisa Garner used social media to launch the campaign and spread the word about the conditions some animals are subject to while breeding.

Implemented in England in April 2020, the legislation requires licensed dog breeders to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth before sale.

Customers are also encouraged to adopt from a rescue centre instead.

North Down MLA Woods, who will forward the petition coordinated by her party colleague Cllr Anthony Flynn, said it comes at a particularly dangerous time for farmed animals in Northern Ireland.

"The introduction of Lucy's Law would be an important step forward for animal protection in Northern Ireland, as called for by the more than 1,000 people who took the time to sign this petition. Puppy and kitten farming is happening right here in Northern Ireland and it's characterised by trauma and torture for the animals used to breed litter after litter.

"These animals are often kept in inhumane and unsafe conditions while they are bred and dumped when they become too old to produce offspring.

"This petition was co-ordinated by my colleague Councillor Anthony Flynn and calls on the Environment Minister to introduce Lucy's Law here in Northern Ireland.

"However, the petition also presents an opportunity to raise the issue of puppy farming at a time when people are staying at home more and getting new pets as companions. "Christmas, furthermore, usually sees a spike in the purchase of pets as gifts.

"The message is that we need this law in Northern Ireland, but if you are buying a dog or cat in the interim, please ask to see the animal with its mum."

Councillor Flynn said the legislation will help put an end to "callous and inhumane" puppy farming in the UK.

Ms Woods will outline the petition in the Assembly Chamber ttoday before submitting it to the Speaker's Office and Minister for consideration.

Anyone with concerns about puppy farms operating in Northern Ireland is urged to contact the USPCA, a charity established to 'Prevent Cruelty and Relieve Suffering'. Animal welfare can also be contacted with more general concerns.

Belfast Telegraph