Blue Cross: More to be done to ensure pet welfare is protected
Pet Charity Blue Cross has welcomed the EFRA Committee’s report but argues stringent regulations and tougher laws are necessary to safeguard the welfare of pets in the UK.
Blue Cross, the pet charity welcomed recommendations to tackle internet sales of pets and as a member of the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG), it was particularly pleased to see a recommendation for the PAAG minimum standards to be made mandatory.
The report has also recommended updating legislation related to the breeding of dogs, something Blue Cross has long argued to better protect the welfare of puppies being bred and sold in the England and Wales.
However, Blue Cross argued more needs to be done, it recommended more stringent regulations such as making sure anyone breeding two litters or more per year should be licensed as a breeder.
The charity would like to see a full and robust system of licensing for all pets, not just dogs. It also goes further by calling for a system of registration and licensing that ensures everyone breeding from their pet, regardless of the number of litters, is a registered and licenced breeder.
Elsewhere, the Government set out a timetable for the secondary legislation that was foreseen ten years ago in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which Blue Cross welcomed this recommendation; specifically a ban on electric shock collars as well as the regulation of all animal sanctuaries in England, something the charity has been campaigning towards for a number of years.
Regarding the report’s suggested removal of RSPCA’s prosecuting powers, Blue Cross said it is a disappointing distraction to what are some good recommendations in the report and believes that the removal of the RSPCA’s ability to prosecute animal cruelty offences would be hugely detrimental to animal welfare.
Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at Blue Cross, said: “We see the consequences of irresponsible ownership, selling and breeding of pets every day in our hospitals and rehoming centres.
“While there are many positives to be taken from EFRA’s report, there is still a lot more that needs to be done to ensure the welfare of pets in England is protected and above all, the authorities need sufficient resources to make sure that legislation can be effectively enforced.
“We are currently working on our own report into pet legislation in England, and following this we will be making further recommendations to Government and Local Authorities later this month.”