Animal welfare inquiry launched

04 February 2016

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee is holding a series of short inquiries on animal welfare over the course of this Parliament. The first inquiry focuses on domestic pets, including cats, dogs and horses. The Committee also intends to consider issues surrounding exotic pets at a later date.

In the UK, about 1 in 2 households own a pet with around 21 million pets owned (excluding fish). The UK pet population is estimated at nine million dogs and approximately 8 million cats. The Animal Welfare Act places a legal obligation on owners and keepers of animals to care for them properly. The inquiry will examine the effectiveness of the Act and its enforcement with regards to domestic animals. The inquiry will also examine whether that Act and other existing legislation remains fit for purpose in the age of the internet with regards to the sale of domestic pets.

Terms of reference

Written submissions are invited on the following issues:

  • The effectiveness of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 with regard to domestic pets
  • Regulation surrounding the sale of domestic pets, including online sales and advertising
  • Enforcement of current animal welfare legislation, including prosecution of offences by the police, local authorities, the RSPCA and others
  • Comparative approaches to enforcement in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Notes on submissions

As a guideline, submissions should state clearly who the submission is from e.g. ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxx’ and be no longer than 1500 words, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this.

Deadline for submissions

Submissions should arrive by midday on Thursday 17 March 2016

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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