Thank you for contacting me about dogs in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill.
This Bill includes measures to protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and the commercial import 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, as well as prohibiting the importation of heavily pregnant dams, and dogs which have been subjected to low welfare practices such as ear cropping or tail docking.
I understand that the Kept Animals Bill proposes to reduce the number of pet dogs, cats and ferrets that can travel to Great Britain in one non-commercial movement to five pets per vehicle. This was informed by research and engagement with various people, including authorised pet checkers, carriers, animal welfare organisations and veterinary bodies.
Further, under existing legislation, the Animal Plant and Health Agency is able to undertake checks on pets, including documentary, identification and physical checks. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering Great Britain on approved routes under the Pet Travel rules undergo full documentary and identity checks by authorised pet checkers. I am assured that these pet checkers are trained by the Animal and Plant Health Agency prior to being granted approval and receive annual audits of their checking and processing to ensure they uphold requirements.
In August 2021, the Government launched an eight-week consultation on proposed restrictions to the commercial and non-commercial movement of pets into Great Britain. I look forward to reading the summary of response in due course.
The Kept Animals Bill was carried over into the current parliamentary session and will return to the House as soon as parliamentary time allows.
Thank you again for taking the time.
Sally-Ann Hart MP