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MPs debate petitions on the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare

2 June 2021

On Monday 7 June, MPs debate petitions relating to the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

The debate will be led by Petitions Committee member Elliot Colburn MP. MPs from all parties can take part, and a Minister will respond on behalf of the Government. 

The UK should ban the importation of Shark Fins 

The petition, which received 115,382 signatures, states: “Now that we have left the EU, the UK has the ability to finally stop the importation of Shark Fins. They had previously stated that 'Whilst in the EU, it is not possible to unilaterally ban the import of shark fins into the UK.” 

In response to the petition, the Government said: “The Government is opposed to SF. SF is banned in UK waters and we support international controls. We are working to address the importation of shark fins, and to end illegal SF practices globally. 

Ban the exploitative import of young puppies for sale in the UK 

The petition, which received 128,549 signatures, states: “Plenty of dogs from UK breeders & rescues need homes. Transporting young pups long distances is often stressful, before being sold for ridiculous prices to unsuspecting dog-lovers. Government must adjust current laws, ban this unethical activity on welfare grounds & protect these poor animals ASAP.” 

In response to the petition, the Government said: “The Government works to ensure regulations protecting the welfare of transported animals is followed while also educating potential pet buyers of the risks of buying from a deceitful seller.” 

Stop the rising number of ear-cropped dogs in the UK 

The petition, which has received more than 103,000 signatures, states: “Leading veterinary and welfare bodies are concerned by the alarming rise in ear-cropped dogs in the UK. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK and an unnecessary, painful mutilation with no welfare benefit. The practice involves cutting off part of the ear flap, often without anaesthesia or pain relief.” 

In response to the petition, the Government said: “The Government welcomes further evidence on this abhorrent practice from the RSPCA. We will also explore options to tackle the import of mutilated dogs, consistent with World Trade Organisation rules.” 

What are petitions debates? 

Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one, or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.  

Further Information 

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