Animals: Imports

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Hayman of Ullock Baroness Hayman of Ullock Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to reduce the number of animals that can be brought into the UK in non-commercial vehicles.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We have introduced the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill into Parliament. This Bill includes a provision to reduce the number of pet dogs, cats and ferrets that can travel in one non-commercial movement from five per person to five per vehicle, or three per person if they are a foot passenger.

The Bill also includes a power to make regulations about the importation of pet animals into Great Britain for the purpose of promoting animal welfare. This will allow us to bring in new restrictions on the commercial import and non-commercial movement of pets on welfare grounds such as: increasing the minimum age that dogs can be moved for non-commercial purposes, or commercially imported, into Great Britain; prohibiting the importation of heavily pregnant dams, and dogs which have been subjected to low welfare practices such as ear cropping or tail docking. Under our proposals volumes would drop further if animals can no longer travel into Great Britain if they are not compliant with these new restrictions.

The Bill was successful in obtaining a carry-over motion on 25 April and was reintroduced in Parliament on 11 May 2022 following the Queens speech. We are preparing for Commons report stage which will take place as soon as parliamentary time allows.

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