Write to your MP about the issue of animals sold in shops
Earlier September 2021 Lucy’s Law came into force in Scotland and Wales. This now means that puppies and kittens can no longer be sold from pet shops or third-party sellers in this country.
But what about all the other animals?
At the end of last year we submitted a petition to the UK government, asking them to extend Lucy’s Law to all animals (rabbits, small mammals, reptiles, birds). The response was unsatisfactory and discriminatory. It simply referred to the current legislation which still allows the exploitation of small animals in rodent mills and other large breeding facilities to supply pet shops.
So what should be do now?
As a next step, we suggest contacting your MP, to bring the issue to their attention. It may prompt them to discuss it in the House of Commons. See if they would back up this campaign, provide a statement, or write to the press about it.
What to say?
Refer to petition and answer given by the government back in January. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/317648
And add some of the following points (using your own words):
– all animals sold by the pet trade should be treated equally.
– the issues with the third party selling of pets are the same whether it’s cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, snakes and birds.
– the small animals sold in pet shops and garden centres typically come from intensive breeding facilities whose conditions cannot be checked.
– the adult animals used for breeding (called ‘breeding stock’) are usually killed when they become sick, injured, tired and no longer profitable.
– the breeders’ details are not made available to the public. Even pet shop staff report this lack of transparency as the information is kept secret from them.
– the animals are often transported long-distance to the stores, which causes stress, injuries, sickness, and fatalities.
– the animals delivered to the stores are stored in small cages out the back, which can last for weeks.
– a store environment is stressful for the animals (noise, bright lights, dogs, children, customers handling them)
– animals displayed in shops entice impulse buys: e.g. People go in to buy a dog collar and come out with an animal. They often haven’t done their research and are unprepared.
– animals are not commodities or products to sell from shops.
– 34% of rabbit owners obtained them from a pet shop (PDSA report 2021)
– Many pet shop bought animals end up neglected, left to breed, unwanted or abandoned.
– Rescues cannot cope and are having to run long waiting lists.
– A recent survey carried out by BaBBA Campaign and involving 5 rabbit rescues revealed a total of 754 rabbits added to their waiting lists in the first 6 months of 2021. As an example, the Rabbit Residence Rescue added 289 rabbits to their waiting list since the beginning of the year.
– the RSPCA reports an increase in starter pets bought for kids https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2021/04/10/rspca-plea-after-spike-in-abandoned-small-pets/
– Between January to March this year, the charity received reports about 150 abandoned rabbits, 78 dumped guinea pigs and 51 abandoned hamsters.
– A further 2,528 abandoned rabbits and other small pets were also reported to the RSPCA’s cruelty line since the lockdown began in March 2020.
– a ban on the sale of all animals from pet shops would be a fair and equal law for all animals. It would bring some relief to rescue centres, reduce suffering and the numbers of unwanted animals needing homes.
Click on the link below to find your MP’s email address and contact them – please forward us any positive response.
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