On the 6th April 2020 the ban on the sale of a puppy or kitten that was not bred by the seller came into force in England. This has commonly become known as “Lucy’s Law”. The purpose of the amendment to the regulations was to ensure anyone who was in the business of selling a puppy or kitten was also the breeder and hence the ban on third party sales.
An operator who breeds a puppy in England to sell as a business must be licensed as a “Breeding dogs” activity under Schedule 1 Part 5 of the regulations and meet the requirements of General Conditions in Schedule 2 and specific conditions in Schedule 6. The puppy must be sold from the premises from where it was bred by the breeder. These puppies cannot be sold by a commercial third-party seller in England
An operator who breeds a kitten in England to sell as a business must be licensed as a “Selling animals as pets” activity under Schedule 1 Part 2 of the regulation and meet the requirements of General Conditions in Schedule 2 and specific conditions in Schedule 3. The kitten must be sold by the breeder. These kittens cannot be sold by a commercial third-party seller in England
There is no statutory obligation to prohibit the sale of a puppy or kitten that was bred outside of England. The breeder of the puppy or kitten outside of England must also be the seller in England and be licensed as a business selling animals as pets under schedule 1 Part 2 of the regulations.
There is no statutory requirement for the purchaser to see the mother and the puppy interact but it is highly recommended that all purchasers ask to see the mother and can satisfy themselves the seller has also bred the puppy or kitten as per the updated the guidance from the Specific Conditions for the sale of Pets in Schedule 3 (5.1) “The expectation is that prospective buyers will ask to see the offspring with the mother before making any purchasing decisions
Defra continue to promote the “Petfished Campaign” where information can be found on the responsible purchasing of animals https://getyourpetsafely.campaign.gov.uk/