Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Puppy and Kitten Farming petition - Mass commercial production / sale of young pets is wrong and needs reform

I have been contacted by a large number of constituents concerning this Thursday’s Backbench debate in the Commons on the practice of Puppy and Kitten Farming. This debate will discuss the e-petition signed by over 110,000 people, relating to the breeding and sale of young puppies and kittens.

This petition states that puppies and kittens mass produced in horrific “puppy/kitten farms” are separated from their mothers too early, transported long distances, and then sold via pet shops, newspaper adverts, websites and private dealers.
I believe we must do what we can to prevent this. This practice leads to puppies and kittens suffering hardship. I do not support everything that the RSPCA do, but I do note that they assert that as many as 85,000 puppies bought via social media or over the internet die before they reach six months old. I have not studied the evidence in detail but man’s best friend should not be treated this way. Pets become an integral part of any family they belong to: it is terribly unfair to remove them from theirs before they are ready.
I welcome the Government’s commitment to look further at the issue of pet sales over the internet, as well as the guidance that is being provided to people looking to buy a puppy. I urge all my constituents who are interested in purchasing a young dog or cat to research thoroughly the breeders or pet shops beforehand. It is a good idea to choose a dog or cat through the Assured Breeder Scheme, or by adoption from legitimate rescue organisations. You should also be sure to ask ‘where’s the mum’ and check to see how the puppy interacts with the mother to make sure that they have not been separated.

I will try and attend the debate itself on Thursday, but am also juggling other commitments in Westminster; the debate is likely to be between 12 Noon and 2.30pm but Thursdays are always very flexible on timings in the Commons as Urgent Business or Statements have to take precedence. In the meantime I have written to the Minister concerned and will press the government to reform and change this practice.