A number of residents have contacted me regarding issues in relation to puppy farming, petshops selling puppies without their mothers and, more widely, the welfare and treatment of dogs.
Some constituents have raised specific concerns in relation to the sale and treatment of puppies from pet shops in Enfield and I will be contacting the Council on these matters.
Given the above, I wanted you to know that animal welfare is an issue that matters to me and the Labour Party.
The last Labour Government had a strong record to animal welfare and I’m proud that it was Labour which introduced the Animal Welfare Act (2006). This embedded in statute, for the first time, standards relating to the welfare of animals. This Act made it an offence to cause physical or mental suffering to an animal and made owners and keepers responsible for ensuring the welfare needs of their animals are met. I believe it is vital that all breeders follow the high animal welfare standards enshrined in this Act and that they are properly enforced.
As you may be aware, local authorities must be satisfied animals are kept in suitable accommodation before granting a licence to anyone who keeps a pet shop; and can refuse a licence if the terms of the licence have not been met. I believe we need to examine the buying and selling of animals in all licensed breeding establishments - not just in pet shops.
I fought the General Election on a manifesto that included a commitment to improve the protection of dogs and cats.
I believe that the current Government must take action to improve dog and cat welfare by reviewing the inadequate regulations on the sale of dogs and cats. I also believe the Government needs to promote better education and responsible dog ownership in order to effectively address the problem of irresponsible dog ownership and prevent dog attacks and improve animal welfare.
I will continue to follow these matters during the course of this Parliament.