Investigation into illegal sale of puppies continues, senior councillor tells colleagues

Posted On 28 Nov 2020 at 1:10 pm

An investigation into the illegal sale of puppies is continuing, a senior Green councillor told colleagues at a Brighton and Hove City Council meeting this week.

Lizzie Deane, who chairs the council’s Licensing Committee, said: “Our trading standards team is leading an investigation into the illegal sale of a significant number of puppies in the city.

“On (Friday) 13 November the team raided four premises on the Horsdean site in Brighton as well as two other properties.

“And during this operation they were supported by Sussex Police, the RSPCA and the Animal Protection Service – and the council are very grateful for their invaluable contributions in this.

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“During that, four puppies and a bitch dog were taken as well as a number of electronic devices and documentation in relation to alleged offences under consumer protection legislation and breaching of animal welfare rules regarding dog breeding.

“This, as you probably know, is also known as Lucy’s law.”

At a “virtual” meeting of the Licensing Committee on Thursday (26 November), Councillor Deane added: “The investigation is continuing with a view to prosecuting anyone involved in this illegal and – as I’m sure you will agree – quite appalling trade.”

Lucy’s law was brought in earlier this year to tackle the low-welfare, high-volume supply of puppies and kittens.

The government said at the time: “Lucy’s law means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead.

“Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth.

“If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.

“The law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who was rescued from a puppy farm where she was subjected to terrible conditions.

“Puppy farms are located across the UK, with most depending on third-party sellers or ‘dealers’ to distribute often sick, traumatised, unsocialised puppies which have been taken away from their mother at just a few weeks old.

“This often involves long-distance transportation, with the puppy or kitten suffering life-threatening medical, surgical or behavioural problems which are passed on to unsuspecting new owners.

“Lucy’s law effectively removes the third-party dealer chain, resulting in all dog and cat breeders becoming accountable for the first time.”

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