MP urges SNP backing for 'Lucy's Law'

Ross Thomson said last year that he was concerned that Scotland risked being left behind on this issue.
Ross Thomson said last year that he was concerned that Scotland risked being left behind on this issue.

A north-east MP has urged the SNP government to enact ‘Lucy’s Law’ on third party puppy sales – more than a year after writing to ministers on the issue.

MPs at Westminster backed a change in the law to crack down on puppy farms in England and Wales, which will come into force in April next year.

The new legislation means that anyone buying or adopting a dog or cat must deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre. It was named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being poorly treated on a puppy farm.

Ross Thomson, MP for Aberdeen South, has urged the SNP government in Scotland to follow suit and wrote to Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform more than a year ago.

The Scottish Government has since said it will make changes to the licensing regime in Scotland, but animal welfare campaigners have said the planned revisions do not go far enough.

Last month, two people in Fyvie were found guilty of animal welfare offences after a raid at what is believed to have been Scotland’s largest puppy farm.

Mr Thomson said: “I was delighted to see the UK Government enact Lucy’s Law to ban third party puppy sales.

“I said last year that I am concerned that Scotland risked being left behind on this issue.

“A year on, it seems we are still waiting. Scotland runs the risk of being targeted by puppy farm criminals trying to get around the law.

“I am now writing again to the Cabinet Secretary to ask what is being done and when Scotland will catch up to the rest of the UK. There are concerns that the proposed changes to the licensing regime in Scotland do not go far enough.

“I want to do all I can to help eradicate this practice, and I think most people expect the government to act decisively to root it out.”