Animal Charities: Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:47 pm on 19th January 2021.

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Photo of Duncan Baker Duncan Baker Conservative, North Norfolk 8:47 pm, 19th January 2021

I thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, and my hon. Friend Sir David Amess for bringing such an important debate to the House and for letting me speak briefly. I am grateful to be given one minute to bring an equally important matter to the Floor of the House concerning animals—that of the kennel and cattery boarding industry.

Animal charities are now becoming overwhelmed with pets purchased during the lockdown. If they are having difficulties, our local authorities have an obligation to house strays for a period of time, and this is usually with local commercial boarding kennels. Here is the problem: many have not had sufficient financial assistance during the pandemic, with the lack of industry definition making obtaining the Government grants problematic. They are technically open, but they have had limited or no income, because no one has been on holiday. These issues will become increasingly problematic as kennels fall by the wayside, and animal charities—our wonderful animal charities—will undoubtedly bear the brunt of the ensuing problems. I urge the Minister to please have a thought for this.