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Dogs: Imports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 144849, tabled on 22 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment on the effectiveness of restrictions on the import of dogs with cropped ears or docked tails.

Answered on

28 March 2022

The practice of non-exempted mutilations such as cropping dogs' ears is abhorrent and has rightly been banned in the UK for 15 years.

Importers of animals must adhere to welfare standards on the protection of animals during transport as set out in Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 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 Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 8 June 2021 and will progress through Parliament when parliamentary time allows. 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.

In August 2021, the Government launched an eight-week consultation on our proposed restrictions to the commercial and non-commercial movement of pets into Great Britain. This included proposals to ban the commercial and non-commercial movement into Great Britain of dogs which have been subjected to low welfare practices such as ear cropping or tail docking. We are currently analysing the responses to the consultation and will publish a summary in due course. This will allow us to take on board the views of the public and interested groups in order to shape our future policy.