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Lucy’s Law – The Crack Down on Puppy Farming

Lucy’s Law – The Crack Down on Puppy Farming

Lucy’s Law has been a story we’ve closely monitored since we heard about the adopted spaniel. The journey started by Lisa Garner who adopted Lucy, a young spaniel from a puppy farm in South Wales. Lucy had many aliments but would soon go on to be remember forever. Lisa, and vet Marc Abraham went on to prevent further miss-treatment of dogs in the future through puppy farms.

The Facts

On Monday 6th April the Government made an important announcement. The introduction of Lucy’s Law. The new legislation will see a crackdown on low-welfare, high volume supply of puppies and kittens. They have put a ban on all commercial third-party sales in England.

The new law will ensure the purchase of any new puppies or kittens in England happen direct from a breeder, or adoption through a rescue centre. All licensed dog breeders are required to demonstrate puppies & their mothers at the place of birth. The results of these changes, all licensed dog or cat breeders now become accountable for the first time.

In addition to the new law the government has increased the sentencing against animal cruelty from six months to five years. We’re hoping with this collective change, to see the welfare and ownership of both puppies & kittens considerably improves.

How does this affect you?

New pet owners

  • Research - If they are advertising many litters from different breeds, then this is a red flag.
  • Check contact details - Validate the details provided are publicly available.
  • Check the animal’s age Puppies and kittens should never be sold under 8 weeks old – do not buy from anyone selling a puppy or kitten younger than 8 weeks.
  • Check the animal’s health records - Make sure the seller shares all records of vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and microchipping with you before sale.
  • Make sure the mum is present
  • Don’t be rushed into a decision! If you feel rushed or pressurised into parting with cash, this is a red flag.
  • Always meet at the breeder registered address - Third-party sellers will often offer to meet somewhere convenient (car park, motorway services or off-site sales office).


It’s has been the law since 2016 that all puppies must be microchipped and registered to the breeder by the time they are 8-weeks old, and before they are sold. Ensure you microchip and register your puppies to your name and address before they are sold to new keepers. Your audit trail from litter to new keeper is more important than ever. As a result of the new ban against third-party sales, we expect the government to closely monitor breeders.

We understand that a large proportion of breeders are un-licenced breeders as a result of having fewer than three litters per year (or an accidental litter). The new legislation will not affect your ability to sell your litters but may see your buyers’ approach with caution. Take extra care to follow the government guidelines when interacting with your potential buyers.

Additional information:

Lucy’s Law is the short-hand for the amendment to The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 brought about by The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which makes unlawful the sales of puppies and kittens (under six months in both cases) by third party sellers/anyone other than the breeder. Lucy’s Law came into force on 6 April in England only as it is devolved legislation. Source:

Author: Microchip Central Team / Posted: May 4th 2020
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