In an attempt to protect animals from exploitation, the United Kingdom has passed a new law banning third-party commercial retailers from selling puppies and kittens. The U.K. government wants to crack down on “puppy farms” and make things more difficult for dealers who seem to have no regard for animal welfare.
There was overwhelming public support for the ban of third-party sales, and Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley says the new law “is part of our commitment to make sure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start to life.”
Now, U.K. residents looking to purchase a furry friend must go directly to the breeder or a rehoming center instead of a pet shop. Veterinarian Marc Abraham, the founder of Pup Aid, says that the new law is a victory for grassroots campaigners — as well as the U.K.’s dogs and cats — and it will make breeders more accountable. Abraham also says that the ban will make it more difficult for anyone to sell illegally smuggled puppies and kittens.
Animal welfare groups have also praised the new law, with one of the country’s best-known animal shelters, the Battersea Cat and Dogs home, endorsing the ban.
This legislative change comes in the wake of the RSPCA asking the public for information about two people who were caught on closed-circuit TV abandoning a dog, all the while driving off and ignoring the dog’s plea to return to the vehicle.
The video clip of the abandonment — which took place in early December in the town of Trentham (about 150 miles northwest of London) — has gone viral on social media.
“To see the poor dog in such obvious distress, jumping up at the car as it drives away, is just heartbreaking,” said RSPCA inspector Natalie Perehovsky. “I can’t understand how someone could do this.”
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