The Animal Welfare Act (animal husbandry) is due to be presented to parliament today and will improve animal welfare standards through a number of measures. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the government will reduce the number of dogs a person or vehicle can bring into the UK.
James Russell, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: “Every day veterinary practices see the devastating effects of illegal pet smuggling.
“Puppies that are poorly raised and taken away from their mothers at a very young age often suffer from illness, other health problems, and poor socialization, resulting in distress and financial costs for new owners. We welcome legislative changes that will stop criminal gangs abusing pet travel rules for profit.
“We are pleased to see that the government has come one step closer to an import ban on docked and docked dogs and has put an end to the ear-clipping trend that veterinarians are advocating for.”
Chris Sherwood, CEO of RSPCA, said, “This is a really important time for animal welfare and if we do it right we can really and permanently change the lives of animals here and abroad.”
The number of dogs imported into the country from the EU for commercial reasons rose by 52 percent from 39,562 in 2019 to 60,190 in 2020, according to figures from the Agency for Animal and Plant Health.
Thousands of families who took dogs in during the lockdown were heartbroken when their pooches died while being raised on puppy farms.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The kept animals bill will introduce some of the world’s highest and strongest protection measures for pets, farm animals and kept wildlife.
“As an independent nation outside the EU, we are now able to go further than ever in animal welfare – to build on our status as the world’s leading animal welfare company.”