Rachel has added her voice to calls for the Government to introduce a ban on third-party puppy and kitten sales in England.

Today (August 22nd), the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, announced a consultation will be launched on an outright ban that will mean anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten must either deal directly with the breeder, or one with many animal rehoming centres across the country.

The Conservative Government’s continuing commitment to driving up animal welfare standards follows Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement in December that there will be a crackdown on cruel puppy farms, aiming to bring an end to the grisly conditions found in puppy farming and tackle a range of existing animal welfare issues.

The proposed ban on third-party sales is part of a series of Government reforms on pet welfare including banning the sale of underage puppies and kittens and tackling the breeding of dogs of severe genetic disorders. New laws come into force this October banning licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks and tightening the compulsory licensing of anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs.

Rachel said: “As a nation of animal lovers it is so important the Government continues to drive up animal welfare standards. That’s why I welcome today’s announcement on the introduction of a ban on third-party sales of puppies and kittens.

“Since becoming a rescue dog owner myself, it has brought home to me that animals can’t stand up for themselves, so those who cause them pain and suffering are truly the lowest of the low.

“Today’s announcement is a further sign of the Government’s strong commitment to maintaining and improving animal welfare standards in the UK as we leave the EU. From enshrining animal sentience in UK law, to increasing maximum sentences for animal cruelty tenfold, to a ban on the third-party sales of puppies and kittens, it is the Conservatives who are determined to drive up animal welfare standards.”

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said: “A ban on third party sales will ensure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life. I pay tribute to the Lucy’s Law campaign, spearheaded by PupAid, Care And Respect Includes All Dogs (CARIAD), and Canine Action UK, who have fought tirelessly for this step.

“People who have a complete disregard for pet welfare will no longer be able to profit from this miserable trade.”