Senior politicians responded positively to the Kennel Club’s Manifesto Wish List, at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester last week.
Political heavyweights such as William Hague, Shadow Foreign Secretary; Andrew Rosindell MP, Shadow Minister for Animal Welfare; Chris Grayling MP, Shadow Home Secretary and Anne McIntosh MP, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, came to the Kennel Club stand to discuss issues related to dog health and welfare.
Amongst the issues raised by the Kennel Club was the need for measures that will help to prevent the breeding and sale of puppies from puppy farms.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “We are very pleased with the reception that we received at Conservative Party Conference.
“Politicians and delegates expressed their dismay at what puppy farmers are doing and were receptive to our message about the need for a set of health and welfare requirements, similar to those adhered to by KC Accredited Breeders, to be made mandatory for anyone breeding dogs.
“We also raised awareness about how banning the sale of puppies in pet shops, via regulations under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, would help to prevent the puppy farming trade.
“Puppies from the Manchester Police Dog Breeding Unit, which is a member of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme, drew lots of visitors to the stand and we hope the Shadow Ministers, MPs, MEPS and Welsh Assembly Members that we met will return to the corridors of power with some very thought provoking messages about dog welfare, which will influence the Conservative manifesto in the future.”
Other issues raised by the Kennel Club included the need to ban electric shock training devices.
The issue was of particular interest to Welsh politicians – including Nick Bourne AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – who have been instrumental in supporting the Kennel Club’s campaign against the devices, since Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones announced her intention to ban them in June 2008.
The matter was made all the more pertinent after 70 percent of Welsh residents said they would wish to see shock collars banned, in a recent You Gov poll.
Politicians also engaged with the Kennel Club over the need for new legislation to replace the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
The Kennel Club believes that the current legislation is ineffective and should focus on owner responsibility and the prevention of dog aggression using Control Orders, rather than enforcing a blanket ban on specific breeds.
The Kennel Club, as the secretariat of the Puppy Farming Study Group, which comprises representatives from the Kennel Club, animal welfare organisations across the whole of the UK, LACORS and government, is at the forefront of moves to try and end the complex and obscure world of puppy farming.
The Kennel Club is lobbying the government to review the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, whose effectiveness at preventing puppy farming varies across England, Wales and Scotland; to make the principles of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme mandatory for anyone breeding dogs and for secondary regulations to be introduced on pet vending under the Animal Welfare Act which would prohibit the sale of puppies in pet shops.
The Kennel Club’s Manifesto Wish List:
1. Introduce further Regulations and Codes under the Animal Welfare Act on
breeding, pet shops and banning electric shock collars.
2. Review Dangerous Dogs legislation.
3. Ensure the PETS derogation is maintained to protect the UK from disease.