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Animals: Imports

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of preventing the live import of animals for re-homing in the UK in order to reduce the number of animals destroyed in the UK when no home for them can be found.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government advises against purchasing or acquiring imported dogs for rehoming, as they may carry serious diseases or have behavioural and welfare issues due to poor breeding. The Government’s recently launched “Petfished” campaign, which aims to warn people about deceitful sellers including those importing puppies and kittens includes advice on this. Rescue and rehoming centres in this country carry out important work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned animals in the UK are offered the opportunity of a forever home. We advise those seeking to acquire a new dog to first consider adopting from a reputable UK based dog rescue and rehoming centre.

Dogs for rehoming are imported under the Balai Directive, alongside all other commercial movements of dogs. As such a ban would not be appropriate as it may inhibit other commercial movements of animals.

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