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MP says animal welfare report is a ‘missed opportunity’

Angela Smith MP, a former Shadow Animal Welfare Minister and present member of the EFRA Select Committee, has given her response to the Select Committee report on Animal Welfare.

She commented: “Today’s report by the EFRA select Committee into domestic animal welfare in England is I believe a missed opportunity to effectively promote improvements in animal welfare standards.

“Unfortunately, the report’s very many sensible recommendations are in danger of being overlooked, thanks to the unwarranted attack on the RSPCA.  

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This is deeply disappointing and surprising, as during evidence sessions this view gained very little support from those who submitted evidence.

“Presently the RSPCA is responsible for over 90% of prosecution activity on animal welfare issues in England and the recommendations in the report are to some extent reckless, because there is no other body with the resources, the experience and the expertise necessary to take on this important role.”

A further recommendation in the report, that a ban on third party sales of puppies should be progressed, are also criticised by the MP.

On this Angela commented; “I think everyone on committee agreed and most of those giving evidence concurred that they would like to see an end to the third party sale of puppies. However, much expert evidence said just banning it would not work.

Unfortunately, the report has very little to say about how enforcement of a ban would work, how this would be paid for, and who would enforce it, which is disappointing.

“I am also disappointed the Committee did accept much of the expert evidence that a strong and effective licensing system for sales is more likely to have the desired effect of stopping third party sales.”

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