MP for Penrith and The Border and the only vet sitting in the House of Commons, Dr Neil Hudson, is leading the charge to urgently bring forward animal welfare legislation to end the cruel puppy smuggling trade.
The Cumbrian MP wrote an open letter to the minister responsible for animal welfare, Lord Richard Benyon, which was signed by 63 other MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum. Dr Hudson penned the letter in association with animal welfare charity, Dogs Trust, which has recently seen an unprecedented increase in the number of pregnant dogs being imported into the UK, with smugglers finding new ways to avoid detection.
Unscrupulous smugglers are bringing in heavily pregnant dogs, underage puppies, unvaccinated animals, dogs with diseases and dogs with horrific mutilations like cropped ears.
Following this letter, Dr Hudson gave a 15-minute parliamentary speech on the legislation in question – the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – where he pointed to the myriad other benefits of the Bill, including banning primates being kept as pets, giving authorities more powers to deal with livestock worrying, tackling pet theft and much more.
The thrust of both Dr Hudson’s open letter and speech is to get the Kept Animals Bill back before Parliament so its worthy provisions can be implemented. Dr Hudson followed this up by questioning the DEFRA Secretary of State today about the progress of the Kept Animals Bill in the Public EFRA Committee Session in the Commons.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said:
“The unscrupulous puppy smuggling trade sadly is still ever present. We need to close the legislative loophole for puppy smuggling and make sure our laws are up to date with the most cutting-edge evidence. It is vital that the Kept Animals Bill comes back to Parliament so that we can stamp out puppy smuggling, stop the import of dogs that have been horrifically mutilated by ear cropping and tackle the scourge of pet theft.”
“I’d like to again thank all the other 63 Parliamentarians who joined me in writing to DEFRA. The cross-party support on the issue only proves to me how vital action is. I’ll continue to make this a priority of mine to protect animals for generations to come.”
Watch Dr Hudson’s full speech here from 17:44:17: www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/f6ded0e5-d90b-4753-98cc-e1b5d89f3086
Read the full letter here: www.dogstrust.org.uk/how-we-help/stories/open-letter-puppy-smuggling