A BAN on third party sales of puppies and kittens is set to be introduced in Wales.

Lucy's Law - named after a dog who was rescued from a puppy farm in Wales - is already in force in England.

After a Welsh public consultation found 98 per cent agree with a ban on third party puppy sales, environment minister Lesley Griffiths has confirmed that the ban will come into force before next May.

Eluned Morgan, MS for Mid and West Wales, said: "For years, I have raised awareness of puppy farming in West Wales in the Welsh Parliament, a campaign that has brought together campaigners and volunteers engaged in rescuing breeding dogs and their pups.

"Through their powerful experiences and the heart-breaking stories of people caught out by unscrupulous sellers, we gained the backing of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire councils to improve our animal welfare legislation which has been a welcome and important step in winning this campaign."

The latest move has been welcomed by The Kennel Club, the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs.

It has long called for an end to the sale of puppies in pet shops and by other third party retailers, as puppy farmers often use such outlets to dupe unsuspecting members of the public who never see the terrible conditions that the pups were raised in.

Holly Conway, head of public affairs at The Kennel Club described the move as 'a vital step forward to tackle the cruel puppy farming industry.'

She added: "Sadly, too often, irresponsible breeders both in Wales and elsewhere have depended on commercial third party sellers – like ‘dealers’ or pet shops – to disguise the horrific conditions puppies are bred and brought up in to the public, readily making a huge profit while causing untold suffering.

“When this policy is implemented it should stop the suffering of many dogs and send a very strong message to puppy buyers that it is never ok to see a puppy in any environment other than the one it was born and raised in, and with its mum.

"It’s absolutely vital, particularly in the current climate, that people wanting to get a dog take their time to really do their research, find a responsible breeder and bring home a happy, healthy new addition to the family, and avoid any unnecessary suffering caused by quick decisions which play into the hands of profit-hungry puppy farmers.”

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: "It's great to see the Welsh Government reaffirm their commitment that a ban on the third party selling of puppies - and kittens - will be brought forward before the end of this Senedd term.

"Nevertheless, we know a ban alone won't be a panacea to improving standards of dog and cat welfare in Wales. A hybrid, holistic approach will be critical to drive up standards and shake off Wales' reputation for poor breeding and trading practices for pups.

"The RSPCA continues to call for the Welsh Government to revisit the threshold of the staff-to-dog ratio at dog breeding establishments, to better resource local authorities to enforce breeding laws, and to consider new laws around cat identification and breeding.

"We know the Welsh Government has pledged that this ban will look very different to the one in England - and we look forward to working with them in the hope that this new law transforms welfare standards for young dogs and cats, and helps inform the public about sourcing pets responsibility and from reputable sources."