While you might be looking to start the new year with a furry addition to your family, it’s important to be careful who you buy from. In Wales it is an offence to sell a puppy or a kitten you have not bred yourself.
The regulation came into force in September this year and follows ‘Lucy’s Law’ which was passed April 2020 in England. This legislation was named after a King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm in Wales where she lived in terrible conditions.
These safety measures make it illegal for a commercial seller to sell a puppy or kitten they have not bred at their own premises, and they must ensure the mother is present.
It aims to reduce the number of times the animal has changed hands before they are sold and allow them to be properly socialised and cared for before they’re rehomed.
Under the law animals can no longer be sold in pet shops, market stalls or over the internet. Anyone looking to buy a new puppy or kitten would have to buy direct from a breeder or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead.
Potential pet owners are also being advised to ask to see puppies and kittens interact with their mother when visiting a breeder.
Breeders will have to apply for a licence from their local authority who will then inspect and approve their premises.
The local authority will have full discretion over when and where they apply regulations.
The regulations will only apply to puppies and kittens up to the age of six months, as adult dogs and cats have different welfare needs and may at times need to be rehomed.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural affairs said: “The new regulations coming into force will help to encourage respectful and responsible attitudes, particularly the developing attitudes of children and young people who are the future pet owners in Wales.
“They will also raise awareness of licensed premises and their eligibility to sell pets and will empower Local Authorities to take action if they have concerns about how puppies and kittens are being bred and sold.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in preparing this piece of work, including vets, Local Authorities, animal welfare charities and members of the public, whose support on this important piece of legislation has been invaluable.”
You can find out more on the government website.