Kirkcaldy MP calls for tougher laws to tackle 'heartbreaking' rise of illegal puppy farming
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP, Neale Hanvey, is leading cross-party calls for tougher animal welfare legislation to tackle the “heart breaking” rise in illicit puppy farmers and importers.
The moves comes after the Scottish SPCA raised serious concerns earlier this year about “low-welfare breeders” in the Kingdom, highlighting that as much as a third of calls they receive about the welfare of new puppies relate to the Fife area.
Mr Hanvey has lodged an Early Day Motion at Westminster in support of the Justice for Reggie Campaign and has received support from across the House, including from colleagues in the SNP and Labour. The motion calls for “stringent laws” to crack down on puppy farming and the “online sales of puppies by unscrupulous breeders”.
The local MP’s parliamentary campaign comes as 50 animal welfare charities released a report urging the UK government to produce a new animal welfare strategy. The organisations, including the Scottish SPCA and Edinburgh-based OneKind, recommend a range of measures, including the introduction of primary legislation to raise the minimum age for imported puppies and kittens to six months with increased penalties for importation.
While some powers over animal welfare are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the necessary powers over trade and consumer regulation are reserved to Westminster.
The MP said: “In the last year, 10 puppies died and 35 were very poorly after being bought from breeders in Fife and across Scotland. Most of these animals were bought on Gumtree, which is why I want to see regulation cover the sale of animals on these online marketplaces.
“I’m calling on the UK government to intervene in the terrible rise of puppy farms.”