Penrith and The Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson, yesterday spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare. Dr Hudson welcomed the Action Plan but also underscored areas where the government could act to improve animal welfare.
During his speech Dr Hudson, the only veterinary surgeon in the House of Commons, called for more action to clamp down on pet smuggling, with suggestions such as a tightening of the rules around transporting heavily pregnant dogs and cats, raising the minimum age to 6 months and a reduction in the number of pets that can be legally transported.
Furthermore, Dr Hudson is keen to see a ban on the importation of dogs that have had their ears cropped and cats who have been declawed. These cruel practices are already illegal in the UK so it would be a logical and ethical extension to make it illegal to import any animal that is already a victim to such practices.
Dr Hudson has been a passionate campaigner on animal welfare issues since his election to Parliament. He recently led a group of 47 colleagues in writing to DEFRA Minister Lord Goldsmith, in conjunction with the Dogs Trust as part of their Puppy Smuggling Task Force. As an active member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Dr Hudson has also contributed to recent inquiries into pet smuggling and moving animals across borders.
Commenting, Dr Hudson added:
“The government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare is a very welcome step in the right direction. As a nation of animal lovers, how we breed and care for animals in our care says a lot about us as people. I am pleased that Ministers have been receptive to calls from myself and others to clamp down on puppy smuggling and improve protections for domestic animals. In particular, I am delighted to see the government has announced a Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill that will be introduced into the Commons today, it is designed to improve welfare standards through a wide range of measures for pets, farmed and kept wild animals: Government launches second Animal Welfare Bill to protect pets, livestock and wild animals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
I will study the legislation carefully, as ever, the devil is in the detail. I will continue to campaign hard on issues around animal welfare, working closely with colleagues across the House, government and animal welfare charities also.”
Please find a link to Dr Hudson’s full speech here: