Leading animal welfare charity Battersea this week welcomed new government plans to improve the lives of animals in the UK and abroad.
During a visit to the iconic Battersea center in London, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Rt Hon George Eustice MP launched the Wellbeing Action Plan animal welfare to improve animal welfare in the UK and abroad.
The action plan will see several new laws and non-legislative changes come into effect over the coming months. The first of these is a new Animal Welfare Bill (Sentience), which recognizes animals as sentient beings, which will be presented to Parliament this week and will be followed by other measures which include; banning live animal exports, cracking down on pet theft and puppy smuggling, and introducing mandatory microchipping for owned cats.
Battersea Managing Director Peter Laurie said:
“Battersea is excited about the new Animal Welfare Action Plan and the difference it can make. Throughout the year, we see firsthand the impact of puppy smuggling, welcome hundreds of stray dogs and cats, and support owners who have lost their beloved pets.
“Every dog and cat deserves to be safe from harm, which means cracking down on those who sell animals illegally and under poor welfare conditions, being proactive in protecting owners from the devastation of their pets. lost or stolen, and do everything we can to bring them together.
“Our pets are not only sentient beings, but much loved family members, and we support all measures that will protect them from unnecessary suffering and reassure dog and cat owners, now and in the future. . “
Battersea frequently welcomes dogs that have likely been raised in poor conditions before being sold to unsuspecting owners. During his visit to Battersea, the Secretary of the Environment met Phoenix, a 6 month old Border Terrier, who arrived in Battersea after being left on a London property by a puppy merchant. His microchip was shown to have been bred in Northern Ireland before being supplied to a dealer for sale, puppy imports have skyrocketed to meet demand under lockdown, and Battersea is hoping the increase in the age of a puppy or kitten can be imported into the UK at six months will ensure a crackdown on those who put profit before animal welfare.
Battersea is also happy to see the government’s plans to introduce the mandatory microchip for cats. 57% of the cats who arrived in Battersea last year were not microchipped, making it extremely difficult for them to find their owners. These include Bruno, a 3-year-old short-haired domestic cat, who arrived in Battersea as a stray last week. Since he is not microchipped, Battersea could not find his owner and will be looking for a new home for him in the coming weeks.
Battersea welcomes other measures outlined in the animal welfare action plan, including a crackdown on pet theft and a proposal to ban remote-controlled shock collars, which cause unnecessary suffering. The association is now eager to work with the government on the details surrounding these measures and to present the legislation required to ensure the creation of a leading environment for pets in the UK.