“The Government’s new Action Plan for Animal Welfare is a hugely welcome development, and we are thrilled to see commitments being made to address issues we have been tirelessly campaigning on for many years to improve dog welfare.
“Most notably, for over six years we have been lobbying the Government to tackle the cruel puppy smuggling trade, so we’re delighted they have finally listened to our concerns and committed to cracking down on the issue. During that time, we have rescued thousands of illegally imported puppies who have had the most traumatic start to their young lives and have come into our care in horrific conditions. It’s been a hard-won fight and a long time coming, but the battle is not over yet.
“We all know that dogs have been a lifeline to many during lockdown, but unfortunately the ‘pandemic puppy boom’ has only worsened the commoditisation of dogs and therefore their poor treatment. So, it has never been more important that the Government are now tightening up legislation to protect dog welfare now and in the future; their commitments to tackle pet theft, ban electric shock collars and enshrine animal sentience in law are also big leaps forward.
“The promises in this plan are a real win for dog welfare but for these law changes to have a demonstrable impact, the devil really will be in the detail. It will also be crucial that the Government has processes and resources in place to allow appropriate enforcement of the new laws as well as monitoring of their effectiveness. We will continue to work closely with the Government to be the voice for dogs and ensure all proposed legislation effects real change.”