Animal welfare charity Blue Cross has called on the Government to act on irresponsible breeding, citing pet owners’ failure to neuter as a key cause of an increase in unwanted pets.

Blue Cross has called for Government action to “discourage irresponsible breeders” after warning that the numbers of unwanted kittens, puppies and pregnant pets in its countrywide network of rehoming centres has reached “epidemic levels”.

Blue Cross has warned of 'epidemic levels' of unwanted pets in its rehoming centresAccording to the animal welfare charity, the number of pets born at Blue Cross centres after their pregnant mothers were abandoned or given up has nearly doubled compared to four years ago, while there has been a 70% increase in kittens in the first six months of this year alone.

The charity believes this increase in numbers is down to pet owners failing to neuter their pets, which is causing them to become accidental breeders.

To combat the problem, the charity is launching its Blue Cross Big Neutering Campaign, which aims to make ‘neutering the norm’, eradicating what the charity calls “irresponsible breeding”, as well as raising awareness of the benefits of neutering.

Kim Hamilton, chief executive of Blue Cross, said: “For many, pets are part of the family, but there are simply too many pets and not enough of these good homes to go round. We must reverse this trend so pets are not disposed of like rubbish.”

Ms Hamilton also believes more needs to be done higher up. “Owners can do their bit by supporting our campaign but we need Government action to discourage irresponsible breeders who make it easy to get a pet on impulse and just as easy to discard,” she said.

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