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Shropshire Star comment: Lucy’s law is humane to our pets

Opinions | Published:

With good reason, we are described as being a nation of animal lovers.

And yet so many animals are subjected to cruel and degrading treatment as nefarious individuals seek to make a buck from our collective passion for pets.

It is important, therefore, that legislators take the lead and close any loopholes that allow unethical types to prosper.

And that is precisely what is happening in the case of those who breed puppies and kittens on so called “farms”.

Bringing an animal into a home is a tremendous responsibility and it is important that new owners find out as much as they can about the animal that will become a part of the family. They ought to see kittens and puppies with parents, interacting with siblings and in the environment in which they were born.

Puppy and kitten farms deny this opportunity while also commodifying vulnerable young pets and removing them too soon from their parents.

Animals are traumatised and have the worst possible start in life, which leads to trouble later.

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With progress comes social responsibility and it is important that we move with the times.

What might have been commonplace generations ago is now considered cruel and barbaric.

It is unacceptable and unjustifiable for domestic animals to be kept in inhumane conditions and traded without scruples.

After a long period of political stasis in which our politicians seem to have moved backwards as they have become entangled by Brexit, it is welcome that a cross-party consensus has been reached.

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And now we can look forward to a new era in which more domestic animals are shown greater respect and compassion, rather than being subjected to degrading treatment.

Our drive to provide better standards for animals should not end with Lucy’s Law.

We can do more across the board to ensure the safety and wellbeing of pets of all descriptions.

While the vast majority of owners are well-meaning and provide reciprocal love towards their animals, there are some malcontents who should be brought to book.

And so people should report episodes of poor behaviour, neglect or abuse to the relevant authorities so that further progress can be made.

The new rules are a great step in the right direction and credit must go to those who have campaigned for change.

Every once in a while, politicians can chime with the public mood – and this is one such occasion.

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