PUPPY and kitten farms will be banned under a new law coming into force this April.

Known as ‘Lucy’s Law’, the legislation will prevent the animals being sold by a third party seller - like pet shops and commercial dealers - unless they bred them themselves.

The law, passed in Parliament in 2019, is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who died in 2016 after being subjected to terrible conditions in a Welsh puppy farm.

From April 2020, anyone who wants to buy or adopt a puppy or a kitten under six months old will have to deal directly with the person who bred the animal, or a rescue shelter.

In Worcestershire, an Evesham woman was accused of being linked to a puppy farm in November last year when she sold a dog to a family from Dursley and the animal died within two days due to a heart defect.

The dog, an 11-week-old Bernese mountain dog named Luna, also showed symptoms of parvovirus, a disease common in animals raised in puppy farms.

Marc Abraham, founder of campaign group Pup Aid, said he was “thrilled” by the change to legislation which is "a fitting tribute to all the victims of the cruel third party puppy trade”.

Lucy’s Law will enforce rules meaning puppies and kittens will be born and reared by their mothers in a safe environment for six months, and sold from their place of birth.

RSPCA chief executive, Chris Sherwood, said the ban, “if properly enforced, will help protect thousands of puppies and their mothers who are the victims of this horrific trade. Every year, the RSPCA’s officers see first-hand the devastating impact that the unscrupulous puppy trade has on dogs and their owners.”

In 2018, the RSPCA’s inspectors received 4,397 complaints about the puppy trade in England alone - a 162 per cent increase on 2013.