It’s been a big week for animal lovers. First, Nabisco let the circus animals on the box of Barnum’s Animals Crackers out of their cages. And now England’s Environment Secretary announced the country will outlaw the sale of puppies and kittens from third-party outlets, more commonly referred to as puppy or kitten mills. Per the new rule, if someone in Great Britain wants a cat or a dog, they must go directly to a certified breeder or to a legitimate animal shelter.
The new measure would also prevent the sale of puppies and kittens at traditional pet shops, as it’s designed to reduce the number of animal traders keeping puppies and kittens locked up in horrible conditions. “A ban on third-party sales will ensure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life,” said Environment Secretary Michael Gove. “People who have a complete disregard for pet welfare will no longer be able to profit from this miserable trade.”
Breeders will also have to make some changes, as well. Moving forward, they’ll only be able to sell animals that they’ve bred. Those who sell animals online will have to provide a verifiable license number and the animal’s country of origin. And should any seller violate the new rule, they will be met with much harsher punishments, including up to a five-year prison sentence.