DUP MLA Robin Newton is to bring forward legislation to the Assembly tackling the issue of puppy farming. Legislation known as 'Lucy's Law" was introduced in England in April 2020 and is also being taken forward in Wales.
'Lucy's Law' on track for Northern Ireland DUP Press Office Today, 14:05
'Lucy's Law' on track for Northern Ireland
DUP MLA Robin Newton is to bring forward legislation to the Assembly tackling the issue of puppy farming. Legislation known as 'Lucy's Law" was introduced in England in April 2020. In February it became law in Scotland, whilst from September 10th it will also be an offence in Wales.
The legislation in England means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten must buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licenced dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or up to six months in prison.
The law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm where she was subjected to terrible conditions.
The final drafting of the Private Members Bill is nearly complete and Mr Newton hopes it will be presented for First Reading in the Assembly soon.
The DUP MLA said, "I have been working on this for some time, having completed an extensive consultation exercise and also met with the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs who I know is supportive of these efforts and whose Department would ultimately be responsible for implementing this law.
I have been greatly encouraged by support from both the general public, animal welfare groups and a number of Local Councils have offered their support to this Private Members Bill also. These include Belfast City Council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Fermanagh & Omagh District Council.
It is an important piece of legislation to address this area of animal cruelty; the huge and cruel puppy farming industry. I have been working with Marc Abraham, the vet who spearheaded the campaign for Lucy's Law in England and Linda Goodman of the CARIAD charity in Wales which has been part of the campaign there.
Northern Ireland must follow the example which has already been set in other parts of the UK. The Assembly has a real opportunity to take a stand against animal cruelty and I hope the Bill will recieve support from across the House when it is presented in the near future."
Details on Lucy's Law in England can be found here.