Kennel Club in Parliament
3a Puppy Farming Debate
Rob Flello MP held a debate in Parliament in early September on the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops. The debate was triggered by Pup Aid's e-petition, supported by the Kennel Club and held during the KC's Puppy Awareness Week.
Ahead of this debate, we circulated a briefing to all MPs with an interest in this issue to support the calls for a ban on the sale of puppies in pet shops and to repeat our view that all breeders should comply with Assured Breeder Scheme in order to clamp down on puppy farming, as it is very often the puppy farmers that sell puppies to pet shops in the first instance.
There was recognition for the Kennel Club during the debate by a number of MPs, including Shadow Animal Welfare Minister, Angela Smith MP, who made reference to the Assured Breeder Scheme, as well as recognition of the Kennel Club's work in these matters by Rob Flello MP, Rehman Chisti MP, Justin Tomlinson MP, Caroline Lucas MP and David Amess MP.
To watch or read the full transcript of the debate, please visit: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/backbench-business-committee/news/mps-debate-regulation-of-the-sale-of-puppies-and-kittens/.
For more information on the Kennel Club's Puppy Awareness Week, which raises awareness about the perils of buying a puppy from a disreputable source and the essential dos and don'ts of buying a puppy, please visit: /our-resources/kennel-club-campaigns/puppy-farming/puppy-awareness-week/.
The Pup Aid campaign was founded by TV vet Marc Abraham. More information can be found at www.pupaid.org.
3b Meeting with Animal Welfare Minister, Lord de Mauley
Following the debate, we met with the Animal Welfare Minister, Lord de Mauley, to explain more details about the Assured Breeder Scheme and how we believe it could and should self-regulate all dog breeders.
We also spoke about how the Kennel Club could assist local authorities in carrying out inspections on breeders and offered to develop a training programme for local authorities in order that they can better carry out inspections themselves. This is something we will continue to speak with Defra officials about.
3c Parliamentary Questions
After speaking with the Kennel Club, Mike Hancock MP tabled two questions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the Assured Breeder Scheme:
- If she will bring forward legislative proposals to make the principles of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme mandatory for anyone breeding dogs.
- If she will encourage local authorities to use Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme inspectors (a) to conduct inspections on behalf of local authorities and (b) to train local authority inspectors.
3d Electric Shock Collars
The public affairs team presented on the issue of electric shock collars to the Cross Party Animal Welfare group in the Scottish Parliament which received wide-ranging support from both MSPs and organisations. Consequently, Christine Grahame MSP, the Chair of the group, has since lodged a motion for a Member's Debate on electric shock collars which has received cross party support and was signed by 20 MSPs.
Furthermore, Christine Grahame MSP is currently organising in conjunction with the Kennel Club to hold an event in the Scottish Parliament on electric shock collars where the public affairs team will be able to brief the MSPs in person ahead of the Member's Debate in the new year.
3e Dangerous Dogs
A Kennel Club representative was invited to speak alongside Animal Welfare Minister, Lord de Mauley, at a conference on dangerous dogs to highlight our view on the new Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, explained in more detail below.
3f All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare's (APGAW) sub-group for dogs has produced an England-wide strategy report which reviews and outlines recommendations for Parliament. The Kennel Club has been involved from the beginning of this process and has greatly contributed to the report, which as a result has references to the Assured Breeder Scheme and the Kennel Club's Mate Select resource as well as the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme. The report has also been put out to consultation to APGAW's members which has shown that a great majority of the group support the report's recommendations.