IN THE NEWS: Prime Minister declares war on cruel puppy farmers: New law will target online selling and squalid conditions

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IN THE NEWS: On DEC 22, 2017

  • Theresa May has promised a crackdown on puppy farming
  • Threat to ban the sale of young dogs without their mother being present 
  • Would do everything she could to 'eradicate animal cruelty from our society' 

Theresa May last night promised a crackdown on puppy farming with a threat to ban the sale of young dogs without their mother being present.

The Prime Minister pledged to end the trend of animals reared in cruel conditions by unscrupulous breeders and transported long distances.

And she will look at tightening the rules so puppies must be also be sold in the presence of the new owner to prevent gangs using the internet to sell sick and injured animals.

Mrs May, who had two dogs as a child and has spoken of her love for the animals in the past, said she would do everything she could to 'eradicate animal cruelty from our society'.

She added: 'In our drive to achieve the highest animal welfare standards in the world, we will continually look at what more can be done.'

Her vow is a victory for campaigners who have warned that puppies are being mass produced in farms, where they are separated from their mothers and kept in cruel conditions before being sold.

Proposals on the table to end the suffering of tens of thousands of dogs across the country include:

  • Forcing breeders to show their puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made;
  • Ensuring sales are completed in the presence of new owners to tackle dark online trade;
  • Banning licensed dog breeders from selling puppies they have not bred themselves;
  • Regulating adverts – including those online – so sellers of all pets must include their licence number, country of origin and country of residence of the pet in any advert for sale. The reforms will tackle the sale of weak, underage puppies and the breeding of unhealthy dogs and those with severe genetic disorders.

They come after MPs called earlier this month for the introduction of 'Lucy's Law', which would make it illegal to sell puppies unless their mother is present. It is named after a cavalier spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm cage. Legislation could be brought forward early in the new year.

The PM – who had a poodle called Tassle and a mongrel rescue dog called Lucky when she was a child – will also look at tackling puppy smuggling across borders.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: 'It is all too easy to be moved by images online or adverts in the local Press advertising newborn puppies looking for a home for Christmas.

'But what we don't see is all too often a sad history of mistreatment and malpractice.

'That is why we are looking at how we can go further to crack down on unscrupulous breeders so pet owners will have no doubt their new dogs have had the right start in life.'

Other measures include increasing the maximum prison sentence for animal abusers from six months to five years. 

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