It is a pleasure to follow Alec Shelbrooke, a fellow West Ham United supporter. I congratulate all the colleagues who lobbied for the debate, especially my hon. Friend Robert Flello, whom I also congratulate on an excellent speech. I thank the Backbench Business Committee for the opportunity to have this debate, and the dozens of constituents who e-mailed asking me to participate in the debate, particularly Peter and Annie Walker, who I know are following the debate this afternoon. I thank all the animal welfare groups listed in the motion, especially the Dogs Trust, on whose briefing I will rely heavily in my remarks.
I hope to be brief, Madam Deputy Speaker, in view of the number of Members who wish to speak. I have some points to make and a few questions to ask, all of which have, I think, pretty much been raised already. What struck me among the briefings from all the different groups was the similarity and consistency of the points raised. They spoke about the conditions of puppies in breeding establishments; restrictions on the number of litters; consistency of inspectors’ visits; easier and clearer enforcement of legislation by local authorities; the publication of the Welsh Government’s draft breeding regulations; the use of microchips to track puppies to breeders; the updating of sales legislation to take in the internet; and enforcement and implementation of the pet travel scheme regulations, particularly in relation to illegal imports.