One year on: Battersea urges Government to pass Kept Animals Bill

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the kept animals bill contains provisions against puppy smuggling

With 9 November marking one whole year since the Kept Animals Bill was last debated in Parliament, Battersea is joining fellow animal welfare organisations and a cross-party group of MPs in issuing an urgent plea to the Government to deliver on promised animal welfare progress.

Today, Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova has sent an open letter, signed by 19 cross-party MPs, calling on the Government to push the Bill over the line. This action is being supported by 9 leading animal welfare organisations.

Proposing significant action to address some of the most pressing animal welfare issues of our time, including puppy smuggling and ear cropping of dogs overseas, the group is joining together today to bring the attention of the Prime Minister and his new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Thérèse Coffey, back to the stalling legislation.

petition against cropped ears
Staffordshire bull terrier Rocky’s owner was prosecuted for removing his ears with knife

Michael Webb, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Battersea, said, “It is deeply concerning that the Government has continued to fail to commit to a clear timetable to ensure the progress of this Bill. Time is running out, and the harm to animals that this legislation could help counter is still going on.

“Whilst we appreciate their in-tray is piled high with a number of pressing issues to address, we would urge the new Ministerial team to remember that animal welfare still needs their attention.  The Government rightly started to drive the Bill forward last year in their Action Plan, and we are delighted so many MPs agree with us that it needs to be passed as a matter of priority.”

Battersea helps thousands of dogs and cats each year, some of which may not have needed the charity’s care had this legislation already passed in to law. With the Kept Animal Bill in place, dogs like Yoko could not have been smuggled into the country after having had her ears and tail brutally cropped – practices which are illegal in the UK but allowed in other countries. The charity may also have seen fewer heartbroken owners giving up their sickly young pets after realising they have been duped by unscrupulous breeders exploiting the legal loopholes the new Bill would close.

dog theft pet theft

Michael added, “Failing to see through these wide-ranging protections would renege on the numerous animal welfare pledges which have been launched to great fanfare – not to mention call into question the Government’s commitment to delivering on its Animal Action Welfare Plan. The Bill has already been carried over once into the current parliamentary session, and we simply cannot afford to let this drift any longer while animals suffer.”

Battersea is asking supporters of their push to get the Kept Animals Bill onto the statute book to sign the petition created by campaigning dog behaviourist Jordan Shelley, which can be found here. To find out more about the Kept Animals Bill, visit the Battersea website.

This is a guest post by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk.

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