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Environment Environment

Implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing

Last updated: 01:59pm 15 January 2019

We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare. We will implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing and will make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.26

Our verdict

Following a consultation in 2015-2016, proposed reforms to pet sales and licensing were outlined by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in February 2017. This policy is a promise to follow through on those proposals.

Under this government there have been significant developments. New legislation has been passed, the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018, which comes into force on October 1st 2018. The new regulations cover licensing arrangements for selling animals as pets, boarding for cats or dogs, hiring horses, dog breeding and using animals for exhibition.

The government also conducted a consultation on plans to introduce a ban on the commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens in England. The consultation closed on 19 September 2018. Respondents gave overwhelming support to the proposed ban so the government announced in December 2018 that it would be moving forward to implement the ban, known as Lucy’s Law. In its own response following the consultation, DEFRA said:

“The government will legislate on these issues when parliamentary time allows…”

The ban on commercial third-party pet sales is set to become law. For now this pledge is ‘in progress’ and we’ll move it to done once the ban has been fully implemented. Follow this policy to see when that happens.

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