Animal Rescue Homes

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 10:57 am on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Jo Platt Jo Platt Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 10:57 am, 26th February 2019

I will come on to the Government consultation later; smaller charities and those who do this work voluntarily, without the shelter of a larger organisation, do have concerns, and legislation is about supporting those people as well. The hon. Gentleman makes an important point.

We know that good guidance and transparency works. Membership of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes has raised standards in rescue centres—I am pleased to have seen the work of such organisations first hand—but that is sadly not the case for a large number of shelters and refuges across the country. When I tried to research how many rescue centres operate in the UK and how many face any regulation or scrutiny at all, the statistics were simply not there. Nobody had any idea. I asked each local authority in England how many centres operated in their districts. About half of the councils that responded did not know how many rescue homes they had in their area. In those that did, only 18% of shelters had any regulation at all, through their voluntary membership of the ADCH—although the vast majority of those not taking part in the self-regulation scheme are beyond reproach in their efficacy and attention to the welfare of animals in their care.