Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has urged the Government to crack down on puppy smuggling after the Conservatives ditched their manifesto pledge to tackle the issue.
The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was first introduced in June 2021, and was announced again in the Queen’s Speech last year. It would have ended the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter, strengthened laws on poppy smuggling and banned the keeping of primates as pets.
However, despite the Bill making its way through several Parliamentary stages, last week Environment Minister Mark Spencer announced that the bill was being scrapped.
Claire Bass, a senior director at the Human Society International/UK, claimed that “the real reason […] that the Bill has been dropped is because of concerns that it could act as a vehicle for uncomfortable debates that the government does not want held on polarising issues such as hunting with dogs”.
Gwynne has long campaigned on issues related to animal rights and has worked with Dogs Trust in the past to put pressure on the Government to take stronger action on puppy smuggling. He is now urging local constituents to sign a petition to put pressure on the Government to act.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“This is an utterly shameful decision. By chickening out of implementing their own legislation, the Tories have essentially given the green light to the appallingly cruel practise of puppy smuggling.
The Government must urgently set out how it plans on clamping down on illegal puppy farms and animal smuggling. The UK should be leading the way on animal welfare, but instead we’ve got another broken promise and animals paying the price.”