Campaigners have welcomed the “game-changing” mission to tackle puppy farming after yesterday’s parliamentary debate.

TV vet Marc Abraham praised the Government after around 80 members of Parliament voiced their support for an end to the trade.

MPs debated the issue of puppy and kitten farming yesterday (September 4), after an e-petition calling for a ban on the sale of puppies and kittens in UK pet shops was launched.

As well as a review of current legislation, members of Parliament urged parliamentary under-secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice to take action by bringing forward compulsory microchipping in a bid to stamp out puppy farming.

MPs advised a call for a change in law; however, the minister would only confirm that local authorities across the country had the power deemed necessary to stop the sale of sickly puppies and kittens.

Mr Eustice said: “I can confirm we will write to local authorities to provide new clarity through new guidance so they can interpret the act in the spirit intended by the house today.

“Pet shops are a key item of today’s debate. It is important to recognise only about 2% of pet shops sell cats and dogs – around 70 in total – and they are already regulated and licensed. They are regulated under the Pet Animals Act 1951.

“[Rob Flello] asked me to clarify whether local authorities have the additional power to place restrictions on which animals can be sold at a licensed pet shop establishment. I can confirm they do have that power.”

Mr Abraham was triggered to launch Pup Aid five years ago after seeing a rise in sickly, unvaccinated and diseased pet shop-bought puppies in practice.

Speaking to the Veterinary Times after the debate, Mr Abraham said: “I’m thrilled with how the debate went. To get around 80 MPs in one room all supporting animal welfare, with the backing of all the major welfare groups, was just fantastic.

“However, the outcome was the best we could have hoped for – it’s game-changing and it was great to see the MPs highlighting the many areas within the issue of puppy farming.”

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “The parliamentary debate today marks a real milestone in protecting the health and welfare of puppies and kittens that are being needlessly exploited for the purposes of making money.

“Puppies in pet shops are frequently separated from their mothers at a young age and are often bred on cruel puppy farms. We are glad that the Government has confirmed local authorities have the power, under existing legislation, to restrict the sales of puppies in pet shops.”

Read more on the story in issue 37 of the Veterinary Times.

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