Yesterday I was pleased to be able to visit Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and see the amazing work of the staff and volunteers there.
The Home cares for, and re-homes dogs and cats from all over the country – I even got to meet some dogs that had been rescued from a Welsh farm. Sadly, it seems that illegal puppy farming is rife across South Wales but organisations like Battersea Dogs Home are doing their best to counter it and ensure the animals’ safety.
The one thing that instantly stood out to me was the dedication of the staff and volunteers there – they all work immensely hard to endure a safe environment for the dogs and cats they look after, and ensuring they are re-housed as soon as can be. I didn’t visit a single block of kennels or the cattery, where there wasn’t a volunteer supporting and playing with a dog or a cat. Some of the animals I saw had been through abuse or illegal farming and were in a very fragile state – it was heartwarming to see the difference some human attention was making for them.
The vast majority of the facilities there were brand new and funded mostly from donations from members of the public. I was really impressed by the cleanliness and standard of the kennels and cat areas.
Renly was very shy but we managed to coax him out with a treat or two.
A huge thank you to Morgan and his team for showing me around.
If elected, a Labour Government would implement the following:
- Prohibit the third party sale of puppies. All puppies will need to be sold with their mother on site.
- Take increased measures to tackle puppy smuggling
- Reintroduction of rabies testing before entry into the UK
- Increase post rabies test period to three months
- Introduce a microchip database and record microchip numbers upon entry
- Ban the use of animal shock collars, including sale and importation.
- Improve accessibility to vets for those on low incomes/receiving financial support, working with organisations to explore how access to affordable vet care can be expanded.
- Require motorists to report accidents where an animal has been injured.
- Expand mandatory microchipping to cats.
- Phase in restrictions on pet primates.
- Raise the penalty for dog-fighting to three years in line with Northern Ireland.
- Consult with landlords and tenants on the ability for tenants to keep pets as default unless there is evidence that the animal is causing a nuisance.
- Work with care home providers and advocate groups to explore the potential for elderly and disabled people who move into care homes to be able to keep their pets.
- Establish a full-time, independent zoo inspectorate to draw up revised standards of animal welfare in the UK’s zoos to ensure consistency in licensing and inspection.