I was pleased to show my support for the animal rescue sector at an event in Parliament hosted by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
The event celebrated the vital role rescues play in caring for animals and supporting communities, and I was delighted to meet some of Battersea’s furry ex-residents who showed off what amazing pets rescue animals are.
Animal rescues have had an uncertain few years due to COVID-19 with organisations facing significant financial and welfare pressures. At the event, I met with representatives of small rescues from across the country who described how the pandemic had affected their organisations and how proposed future regulation of rescues could affect them.
I also heard about specific challenges such as puppy smuggling and ear cropping, which will be addressed by the Kept Animals Bill. I know these issues are incredibly important to my constituents and I vouched my support to work with Battersea to make sure it completes its urgent passage through Parliament in the coming months.
With the surge in demand for pets since the pandemic began, I was also struck by the importance of Battersea’s campaign to promote pet friendly housing. Tragically too often pet owners are forced to give much-loved dogs and cats to rescues due to rental restrictions. Battersea is calling for reform of the rental sector to widen the availability of pet friendly properties and I pledged to offer my support to this campaign.
Rescues do amazing work, helping pets and their owners in difficult situations, and Battersea is a champion for the best of rescue. In this new session of Parliament, I’m looking forward to working with them on legislation and campaigns like the Kept Animals Bill, regulation of rescues and pet friendly properties to help promote improved animal welfare. There’s a lot we can do in Parliament to tackle issues encountered by rescues, and I am delighted to pledge my support.