Petition to ban importation of puppies arrives in parliament for debate after Mirror campaign
Animal welfare activists have urged the government to move forward with a mirror-backed puppy import ban as MPs prepare for a debate in Westminster on Monday.
Thousands of readers have signed an e-petition demanding the blocking of the importation of young dogs into the UK from overseas, allowing the petition to reach its target of 100,000 in just six weeks.
Our campaign aims to increase the puppy import age from 15 weeks to six months.
Last month the government said it would grant powers to “raise the minimum age at which dogs can be moved or imported commercially into Britain”.
RSPCA Public Affairs Officer David Bowles said: “We share public concerns about puppy imports.
“This cruel trade sees sick and dying puppies sold to unsuspecting families and it exploded during the lockdown due to demand for pets. In its recent Animal Action Plan, the government has indicated its readiness to crack down on this trade and we welcome this commitment.
“The RSPCA is calling on the government to change the law to increase the age at which puppies can be imported from 15 to 24 weeks.
“This will not only better protect their welfare, but it will reduce the value of the puppy to dealers, making the business less lucrative and also making it easier to spot puppy smugglers if they attempt to smuggle the puppies illegally. younger dogs.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home policy chief Michael Webb said: “Battersea agrees with the petition and welcomes the government’s proposed ban on the importation of puppies and kittens under six. months in UK.
“However, while a general ban, based solely on the age of the animal, would be a welcome step, Battersea would suggest other complementary measures to improve animal welfare.”
He said a key change would be to expand “the requirement that animals be fully vaccinated before travel and to ensure that the waiting time after vaccination before travel is increased from three weeks to 12 weeks “.
Mr Webb added: ‘Since vaccines for diseases such as rabies cannot be given until a puppy or kitten is three months old, that would mean six months is the youngest age. so that a pet can travel, and ensure that they are fully vaccinated at the same time, ensuring better protection for adult dogs as well as for puppies.
The Kennel Club says it is “clear that existing import regulations do not provide adequate protection for dogs.”
However, he warns of a “general ban on the importation of all dogs under six months old.”
While such a move is “attractive”, it “would have an undue impact on a significant number of people who legitimately enter the UK with their puppies under six months old,” the KC says.
MPs will spend 90 minutes debating a range of measures to protect animals, including the call to ban puppy imports, and the crackdown on shark fins and dog ear cutting.
Tory backbench Elliot Colburn, the Petitions MP who will lead the debate, said: “The government’s animal welfare action plan is welcome and directly addresses the three petitions we are discussing Monday and the requests they made.
“Shark finning, puppy imports and dog ear trimming all have devastating consequences for animals, which are subject to poor animal welfare standards which are not acceptable in the UK, it is so just that we tackle the import and export of these practices.
“I hope the government will be able to give positive news on the timeline for implementing these proposals and commit to working with our partners around the world to encourage others to follow our example.” “
A government minister will respond to the debate.