East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has raised in Parliament the issues of puppy farming and low-welfare pet imports.
In response to a question asked by Sir Greg, the Minister of State at the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Victoria Prentis MP responded that the government takes the issue of low-welfare and illegal supply of puppies “very seriously”.
She revealed that DEFRA has a national communications campaign to raise awareness of the illegal supply of pets, and that a Pet Advertising Advisory Group has been created to combat growing concerns about the “irresponsible advertising of pets for sale, rehoming and exchange”
The Minister promised that the government will continue to crack down on puppy smuggling via the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which is currently going through the House of Commons. This Bill will introduce restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movement of pets into Great Britain and will give ministers the power to introduce new restrictions on the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds.
She said: “The government has already launched a consultation on proposed restrictions on the movement of pets into Great Britain, including banning the movement into Great Britain of puppies under six months old and dogs which have been subjected to cruel practices such as ear cropping or tail docking.”
Speaking following the government’s response, Sir Greg said: “I am pleased that the minister has given such a comprehensive response to me. It is clear that we need to do more to improve
animal welfare in this country, particularly with regard to low-welfare care or illegal puppy farming and pet imports.
“I am reassured that the government has several initiatives in the pipeline that will crack down on these practices.”