APGAW Dog Strategy December 2 2014
The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) launched its Dog Sub-Group and Review and Recommendations for Developing an Effective England-wide Strategy for Dogs at a meeting at the House of Commons.
The setting up of a Sub-Group for Dogs under the chairmanship of Rob Flello, MP, is a very welcome development. The Group will cover dog control; dog breeding, dealing and trading; dog identification; responsible dog ownership; and resources.
The Group recommends that the laws relating to the breeding, dealing and trade in dogs should be reviewed and updated by means of statutory Codes of Practice under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). It recommends a more consistent approach by local authorities in enforcement of the AWA; the endorsement by Defra and widespread use of the Puppy Contract; and veterinary advice to breeders on inherited breed related disorders.
The full Report may be seen here: Strategy for Dogs [PDF]
Vet, Marc Abrams’, petition to end puppy farming in the UK will be debated in the House of Commons in March 2014. If you object to this inhumane treatment of breeding dogs and their offspring, please write to your MP. In your email or (better still) letter, ask them to attend this debate and vote to outlaw the large scale, commercial breeding of dogs where animal welfare and the basic needs of dogs are being ignored. Dogs are companion animals and it is not appropriate to ‘farm’ them.
Your MP’s contact details can be found at: findyourmp.parliament.uk
The Dog Advisory Council’s Recommendations on Legislation and Regulation are submitted to the Government. This document can be seen here:
Dan O’Neill, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP and myself met with Jim Fitzpatrick, MP, former Labour Minister for Animal Welfare. Jim agreed to request a future APGAW meeting on Dog Welfare, support the Objectives of the Dog Breeding Reform Group and request a meeting with Huw Irranca-Davies, MP, current Shadow spokesperson for Animal Welfare.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP, spoke on the breeding and welfare issues during the debate on the Efra Report. The problems of genetic health and welfare are still not being addressed by the Department responsible for animal welfare. Furthermore the Defra set up for companion animal welfare is confusing. The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) has been created as the main advisory group to Govenment on all matters to do with animal health and welfare. However, no-one on this Board has any experience of companion animal welfare (Tim Morris has been given the responsibility). Even more recently the Canine and Feline Sector Group has been set up to advise AHWBE on the welfare issues of cats and dogs. Its current Chairman is Steve Dean who is also the Chairman of the Kennel Club. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown pointed out that this was a potential conflict of interest as the KC is part of the problem. G C-B gave his support to the Dog Advisory Council as being an independent group of experts who are best placed to make recommendations for the reform of dog breeding. The Minister, David Heath, suggested that G C-B meet with Michael Seals, Chairman of the AHWBE.