Sale of Puppies

Andrew Selous Excerpts
Monday 21st May 2018

(2 years, 9 months ago)

Westminster Hall

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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Martyn Day Portrait Martyn Day (Linlithgow and East Falkirk) (SNP)
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21 May 2018, 4:30 p.m.

I beg to move,

That this House has considered e-petition 213451 relating to the sale of puppies by pet shops and commercial third-party dealers.

The proposed ban is known as Lucy’s law.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Austin, in this immensely popular debate on a petition that collected more than 100,000 signatures in its first 13 days. It now has almost 150,000 signatures, with four months still remaining, making it probably the most popular dog welfare petition that the Government have seen in all time. I congratulate all involved in the writing of the petition and its promotion, including its creator, Beverley Cuddy, who is in the Public Gallery today. The petition is popular not just with the electorate, our constituents, but with Members, almost 100 of whom from all parties—when I last checked—had signed early-day motion 695 on Lucy’s law, and all proudly support the call for an immediate ban on puppies being sold by commercial dealers and pet shops.

Lucy’s law was launched in December 2007 at a Commons reception hosted by vet and campaigner, Marc Abraham, founder of Pup Aid—who is also in the Public Gallery—and supported by the all-party parliamentary dog advisory welfare group, which is chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Dr Cameron). Lucy was a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, a victim of the puppy farm system, used for breeding for many years with no regard for her health or welfare.

Media and celebrity support for Lucy’s law has been quite staggering, with titles such as The Mirror, The Sun, the Daily Mail and The Guardian all backing the campaign, as well as mainstream TV shows, such as “The One Show”, ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” and “This Morning”, and “The Wright Stuff”, and Sky News, Channel 4, and Channel 5 all giving support. Popular figures behind the campaign—it is not just politicians and constituents, but many celebrities—include Ricky Gervais, Brian May, Peter Egan, Sue Perkins, Clare Balding, Rachel Riley, Sarah Millican, Eamonn Holmes, Kay Burley, Gail Porter, Deborah Meaden, Jon Richardson, Victoria Stilwell and many others. The campaign is receiving a huge amount of attention.

Significantly, the next generation of social media influencers has also embraced Lucy’s law, with support from the UK’s top vloggers such as Zoella and online giant UNILAD, which has even made its own documentary about the campaign.

Andrew Selous Portrait Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire) (Con)
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21 May 2018, 4:33 p.m.

I strongly support a ban on third-party puppy and kitten sales. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it would be very useful for those people getting a dog for the first time to have a basic information pamphlet, pointing to where they can get help? That would do a lot to promote animal welfare.

Martyn Day Portrait Martyn Day
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21 May 2018, 4:33 p.m.

That is a very worthwhile suggestion. No one should rush into getting a dog or any pet; it should be something people think about in detail. Equally, when they make that decision, they should not make an impulse purchase of any dog from any source.

A ban on third-party sales has also gained much support from the most well-respected animal welfare organisations in the UK and beyond—the list is impressive.