Skip to main content

Cats: Animal Welfare and Smuggling

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 21202, tabled on 23 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to increase the minimum age a kitten can enter the UK non-commercially to six months in order to prevent kitten smuggling and protect kitten welfare.

Answered on

2 July 2021

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was introduced in Parliament on the 8 June. The Bill allows us to protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and on the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation. These restrictions could relate to the movement of pets below a prescribed age and to the movement of heavily pregnant pets under the commercial and non-commercial rules. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders prior to the introduction of the legislation to ensure that our final measures are well considered and are guided by the latest evidence.

The Government is planning to launch a consultation later this year on the proposed restrictions to the commercial and non-commercial movement of pets into Great Britain. The consultation will allow us to refine the scope of the measures, including whether they apply to cats.