Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 25 October 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department is taking steps to help ensure that appropriate guidance is provided to new pet owners.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Pet owners’ responsibilities are laid down in several Government codes of practice for animal welfare, which are available here: Animal welfare legislation: protecting pets - GOV.UK ( The codes summarise important information for owners and helps them to make decisions about how best to care for their animals.

Under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, licensed pet sellers are required to provide prospective owners information setting out how the animal’s health and welfare needs should be met.

In addition, my Department maintains a national communications campaign (Petfished) to raise awareness of issues associated with low-welfare and illegal supply of cats and dogs. This includes providing clear signposting on where responsible breeders and rehoming centres can be found and encouraging prospective buyers to research the seller thoroughly before they visit and decide to purchase.

Finally, my Department has also developed dog safety fact sheets in collaboration with the Child Accident Prevention Trust and animal welfare organisations to encourage safe interactions between families and dogs.

I welcome the efforts of veterinarians, animal welfare charities, breeders and other practitioners in sharing these sources of information with pet owners.

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