WHY TOP LICENSING BARRISTER BACKS LUCY’S LAW

Posted: December 20, 2017 in Diary

Suport Lucy's Law

Lucy’s Law is not only supported and called for by campaigners and most animal welfare organisations, it is supported and being actively worked on by one of the top licensing barristers in the country, Sarah Clover, Chair of the West Midlands region of the Institute of Licensing.

Sarah Clover has been working closely with our coalition for some time now, not only because she’s an animal lover and supports our work, but because from her professional perspective she firmly believes that Lucy’s Law i.e. an immediate ban on the sale of puppies by pet shops and other third party commercial dealers is the crucial first step to ending the horrific trade of puppy farming both here in the UK and throughout Europe.

Don’t just take our word for it that Lucy’s Law is a priority, take the word of top licensing barrister Sarah Clover who the House of Lords Select Committee described as “…a barrister whose encyclopaedic knowledge of licensing, planning and regulatory law has been invaluable to us. We are most grateful to her for her exceptional contribution to our work.”

Earlier this year Sarah wrote an article about third party puppy sales, which we encourage everyone to read, at the link below. The article appeared in the Journal of the Institute of Licensing.

http://sarahclover.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/1077_001.pdf

To learn more about Sarah Clover and her outstanding contribution to the legal world, please visit her website – http://sarahclover.co.uk/

We were honoured and thrilled to stand side by side with Sarah Clover at the launch of Lucy’s Law on 6th December, 2017 in the House of Commons. Sarah gave a speech that will be remembered for a long time to come. Click on the image or link below to watch the recording of Sarah’s speech or read the transcript below the link. Sarah’s words are inspiring and galvanising. They will strike a chord with everyone who understands our responsibility to the vulnerable – be they human or animal – and explain why Lucy’s Law must become a reality in 2018.

Sarah Clover

https://vimeo.com/248192689

TRANSCRIPT OF SARAH CLOVER’S SPEECH

We are proud and delighted to be here today to promote Lucy’s Law.

Lucy’s story has touched so many people because it triggers our deepest sense of outrage against cruelty and unfairness, and this is never more poignant than when it happens to the innocent and helpless. Lucy’s Law will be an important tool to ensure that Lucy’s fate, and the fate of so many other dogs and puppies caught up in puppy farming and profit driven trading, cannot continue any longer.

With Lucy’s Law, there has never been any disagreement as to what should be achieved – it is obvious.  No-one in their sound mind would want any animal to suffer like Lucy did. These issues transcend all backgrounds, and political persuasions, and represent something that we can all agree on and work together to solve.

The right law to achieve the right result has been the subject of debate, but we believe that Lucy’s Law provides the best means to tackle the problem. My specialist area of law is Licensing law, and the licensing system has been mooted as one possible way to control commercial third party sales. The difficulty with licensing third party puppy dealers is enforcement. The licensing authorities have to know about the sale; they have to know about who conducted it; they have to know whether the right licence is in force, and it is all dependent upon being in the right place at the right time.  That is a lot to expect of our licensing system and the Council Officers who run it, particularly in these times of budget cuts and strain on resources. A ban is a ban –  it doesn’t need any working out by anybody. A ban means that sales by third party dealers, for profit, of puppies away from their mothers is not allowed. Very simple, and everyone can identify the rights and wrongs instantly.

The ban is therefore commended as the tool to bring about immediate improvement in the lives of dogs young and old, everywhere, and to help to ensure the best possible future for all puppies.

But this launch is not all about a law. People don’t want laws, they want justice. They don’t want regulation, they want results.  This is true not just for dogs but for every member of society. We are a nation of dog lovers, and of animal lovers in general and this is because such caring is part of our national character and identity. As a society, we prove time and time again that we are a generous and responsible people; very concerned to take care of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities. We have demonstrated this repeatedly during the hardest times that our nation has faced, throughout history and in modern times. We are sadly tested repeatedly, but our reaction never fails.  In the moments of our greatest challenges, in the midst of the disasters and crises which have beleaguered us, we see over and again that it is the consistent hallmark of all those affected to reach out without hesitation or selfish interest to protect the wounded and vulnerable. Our national reaction is protection. And no living creature represented the epitomy of vulnerability more than Lucy did.

We love our pets and want to take care of them,  for all the good things that they bring into our lives. But Lucy’s Law goes beyond that.

For anyone who might question whether Lucy’s Law should be a priority at this time of immediate challenge to our nation, with all the pressing work that needs to be done to secure our future in Europe and beyond, the answer is clearly that it should. Lucy’s Law does not represent a detour or a side issue: it is at the very centre of what our nation stands for at this important time. Our communities at home need to know that this is a caring Government, that has protection of the vulnerable as its constant focus and that will not neglect any of its responsibilities. And our neighbours and partners abroad will see a powerful signal that we are committed to tackling injustice in every guise, and reliable in fulfilling every obligation, from the greatest to the least. Lucy’s Law is a step that builds trust, respect and confidence at levels far beyond its immediate subject.

And with our partners everywhere, we will no doubt find that, when we cannot agree on anything else, we can still agree on our love for our pets, and all common ground is a valuable asset!

People care about Lucy’s fate, and they care about animals everywhere, but in doing so, what  they are really caring about is the fundamental values in our society of justice, fairness and the protection of the vulnerable, whomever they may be. When the Government demonstrates, on every level, that it cares about these values too, we are all reassured, because we never know when we may become one of the vulnerable ourselves.  We all need the standards that are set by laws like these, and Lucy’s Law is a powerful metaphor for the values that this Government stands for.

END

Thank you to everyone across the world who has shown their support for Lucy’s Law. Please be assured we have the best legal and industry minds working on the finer details to ensure Lucy’s Law will be the law that brings an end to puppy farming, saving the lives of tens of thousands of dogs and puppies, and provides greater public protection against those who profit from animal suffering.

2018 – THE YEAR OF THE DOG

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