Dogs: Animal Welfare

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd October 2008.

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Photo of Roger Williams Roger Williams Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(1) what assessment he has made of the levels of (a) deformity, (b) disability and (c) hereditary disease amongst (i) pedigree and (ii) other dogs;

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of breeding practices on the welfare of pedigree dogs, with particular reference to consanguinity between breed pairs;

(3) what assessment he has made of the effects of the rules and regulations of pedigree dog shows on the welfare of pedigree dogs;

(4) what assessment he has made of the effects of breed standards on the welfare of pedigree dogs; and if he will make a statement;

(5) what his policy is on the culling of pedigree dogs which do not meet breed standards; what estimate he has made of the number of pedigree dogs (a) culled and (b) neutered on such grounds in each of the last three years; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban this practice;

(6) if he will bring forward legislative proposals to amend breed standards in order to reduce health problems and improve the welfare and life expectancy of pedigree dogs;

(7) if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban (a) inbred dogs, (b) unhealthy dogs and (c) dogs with inherited diseases from being entered in pedigree shows;

(8) if he will introduce mandatory health checks for pedigree dogs as a condition of entry into pedigree shows;

(9) if he will review the standards and rules relating to breed showing for their implications for animal welfare;

(10) what recent representations he has received on inbreeding in pedigree dogs and its effects on animal welfare; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jane Kennedy Jane Kennedy Minister of State (Farming and the Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club have jointly announced an independent and wide ranging review of dog breeding. I will shortly meet with representatives of these organisations to discuss the assistance that DEFRA can provide to the review.

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