Many thanks for contacting me about dogs in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill.
This Bill includes measures to protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation.
I am aware that under existing legislation, the Animal Plant and Health Agency is able to undertake checks on pets, including documentary, identification and physical checks. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering Great Britain on approved routes under the Pet Travel rules undergo full documentary and identity checks by authorised pet checkers. These pet checkers are trained by the Animal and Plant Health Agency prior to being granted approval and receive annual audits of their checking and processing to ensure they uphold our requirements. I understand that the Government is not proposing to make fundamental changes to the existing enforcement regime.
In August 2021, the Government launched an eight-week consultation on proposed restrictions to the commercial and non-commercial movement of pets into Great Britain. I know that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently analysing the responses to the consultation and will publish a summary in due course. This will allow Ministers to take onboard the views of the public and interested groups on puppy smuggling and low welfare imports in order to shape future policy.
I welcome that this Bill has passed Committee Stage in the House of Commons and will return to the House as soon as parliamentary time allows.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
19 April 2022