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MPs press Minister for progress on animal welfare issues in Westminster debate


  • MPs press Minister for progress on animal welfare issues in Westminster debate

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    On Tuesday 4 December, MPs joined an important debate in Westminster Hall on animal welfare issues. Led by longstanding animal welfare advocate Jim Fitzpatrick MP the debate raised a number of key issues such as the need to regulate rescue centres, tougher animal cruelty sentences, and the international movement of puppies across borders.

    Battersea Dogs & Cats Home welcomed many of the points raised by MPs at the debate, including the regulation of rescue centres as it is crucial that all animal rescues adhere to the highest standards. Not only will this protect animal welfare but it will also provide reassurance to the public of how their new pet has been cared for.

    A number of organisations have highlighted the threat to both human health and animal welfare posed by puppy smuggling, and the alleged misuse of the current Pet Travel Scheme. Responding to the debate, DEFRA Minister David Rutley MP spoke of his desire to tackle this issue in his new role. Battersea will offer whatever assistance we can to help save animals from mistreatment in future, as part of the international puppy trade.

    Battersea was encouraged by the Minister stating his support for regulation of rescues based on the strong minimum standards put together by the Association of Dogs and Cats Home (ADCH). These are a good template for ensuring best practice and safeguarding animal welfare. Whilst it was welcome that the Minister restated the Government commitment to five year sentences for animal cruelty, the charity was disappointed that, as yet, no timeline is in place for a new Bill. Battersea encourages MPs from all parties to support this measure.
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