I beg to move,
That this House
has considered the e-petition relating to the sale of young puppies and kittens;
notes that puppies produced at large-scale commercial breeding establishments, known as puppy farms, and irresponsibly-bred kittens are separated from their mothers too early and often transported long distances, and as a result often suffer serious life-threatening problems including impaired immune systems, poor socialisation, infectious diseases and shorter life spans;
calls on the Government to review existing legislation to ensure that it is consistent with its own guidance that prospective owners should always see the puppy or kitten with its mother, and to ban the sale of puppies and kittens from retail centres such as pet shops, garden centres or puppy supermarkets;
further notes the support of the Blue Cross, Dog Rescue Federation, Dogs Advisory Council, Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club, RSPCA and others for such a ban;
and further calls on the Government and welfare organisations to work together to raise awareness among the public about choosing a dog responsibly from only ethical breeders or by adoption from legitimate rescue organisations, and to consider further steps to end the cruel practice of irresponsible and unethical breeding of puppies and kittens in the UK.
I am delighted to initiate today’s debate on an issue that the British public feel very strongly about. More than 110,000 people have called for a ban on the sale of young puppies and kittens without their mother being present, and although I cannot cover all the many issues surrounding this topic—I wish to leave some for colleagues on both sides of the Chamber—I hope at least to explain why so many people believe this issue to be so important.
I thank everybody involved in the Pup Aid campaign, in particular Marc “The Vet” Abraham, Stuart Vernon, Rebecca Weller, the team at Bellenden, Julia Carr at Canine Action UK, Tim Wass, Nicola Howell in my office, CARIAD and Diesel. I am also grateful for the backing of Blue Cross, Dog Rescue Federation, the Dog Advisory Council, Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Wood Green Animal Shelter, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. [Interruption.] I hear mutters from the Benches beside me at the mention of the word “Diesel”, but—I think this illustrates the issue—until I actually saw the problem for myself, I was oblivious to it. That lies at the heart of the issue: people are caring, considerate, loving individuals, but unfortunately they are oblivious to the problem.