In June, the Government broke their manifesto promise by dropping their animal smuggling bill. This sparked outrage amongst animal welfare groups. The Liberal Democrats have now re-tabled the Government's puppy theft and smuggling bill and called on all MPs to back the re-introduced bill.
Newcastle upon Tyne Liberal Democrats have criticised the withdrawal, accusing the Government of breaking another manifesto pledge, turning their back on puppies and allowing traffickers to exploit the pet market.
On June 6th, Liberal Democrat MP, Tim Farron, tabled the Pets (Theft and Importation) Bill which seeks to prevent and punish the theft of dogs below a certain age and deter the unlawful importation of certain animals, including dogs, cats and ferrets. The Second Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons is scheduled for 24th November.
The text is identical to the Government’s draft legislation on puppy and kitten smuggling.
The Liberal Democrats' spokesperson for Newcastle upon Tyne North, Dr Aidan King said: “Newcastle upon Tyne is full of pet lovers and we must do everything we can to ensure the safety of our beloved animals.
“The Liberal Democrats want to see greater protections for puppies, with criminals who target beloved pets handed harsher punishments.
“The Conservative Party promised to deliver this Bill in their election manifesto, and the Government even drafted the wording of the new law. Labour MPs should have no problems backing it too.
“It would be shameful for local MPs and this Conservative Government not to support this Bill and pet owners, animal welfare charities and residents of Newcastle upon Tyne would be rightfully angry.”