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Dogs: Imports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 185810, tabled on 22 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of banning the import of dogs with cropped ears.

Answered on

29 April 2021

The practice of mutilating dogs' ears is abhorrent and has rightly been banned in the UK for 15 years.

We already have some of the world's highest animal welfare standards. The end of the transition period has opened up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel and commercial importation rules. We are actively listening to the concerns of stakeholders and the Government is considering options regarding the importation and commercial movements of dogs with cropped ears into Great Britain in line with World Trade Organization rules.

Importers of animals must adhere to welfare standards as set out in Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and in domestic legislation, The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 (WATEO). This legislation aims to protect the health and welfare of animals during transportation and applies to dogs that are suffering injury as a result of non-exempted mutilations including cropped ears.

The Government also continues to raise awareness regarding the improper selling of pets by deceitful sellers in the UK and abroad through our 'Petfished' campaign. This seeks to educate prospective pet buyers on common tricks and tactics used by deceitful sellers which may result in the purchase of a mistreated or unwell pet, including those that have been subject to cropping. The campaign urges buyers to mitigate risks, for example by buying from trusted sellers such as those under the Kennel Club's Assured Breeder scheme, viewing puppies with their mothers and siblings, asking questions of the seller and following the Animal Welfare Foundation and RSPCA Puppy Contract to ensure that puppies are in good health when purchased.