Battersea welcomes Labours new animal welfare manifesto

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has today welcomed the Labour Part’s new Animal Welfare manifesto.

Battersea has long campaigned for changes to many of the topics covered within Labour’s Manifesto, which could have a positive impact on the welfare of domestic animals in the UK.

Battersea is supportive of measures to improve feline welfare. Whilst it is currently compulsory for owners to microchip dogs and for drivers to report any road accidents involving dogs, no such laws currently exist for cats.

Labour’s proposals to introduce compulsory microchipping for cats and make it a legal requirement for drivers to stop if they unfortunately hit a cat, could greatly improve feline welfare in the UK and provide great peace of mind for owners.

Last year, Battersea saw hundreds of dogs and cats come through their gates because their distraught owners couldn’t find pet friendly accommodation.

Approximately 10% of the animals that arrive at Battersea are there because their owners are unable to keep them in their home, which is why the charity launched the Pet Friendly Properties campaign.

If tenants were given more flexibility around pet ownership, it would end the worry and heartache of not knowing if they’ll be able to keep their pet when they move – not to mention saving countless pets having to end up homeless in animal shelters.

Battersea works closely with other Greyhound welfare charities to improve the lives of these wonderful animals before, during and after their racing career. Battersea rehomes many ex-racers, who are lovely dogs and make wonderful pets.

While Greyhound racing tracks are already subject to regulations, training kennels, where Greyhounds are estimated to spend 95% of their time, are not. Battersea strongly believes these should also be regulated and is pleased to see that Labour shares this view.

The animal welfare charity also believes that the betting industry can do more to support the welfare of Greyhounds and looks forward to working with all parties to improve how these dogs are treated.

Peter Laurie, Battersea’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased to see so many animal welfare issues addressed in Labour’s new manifesto, particularly those that directly affect the nation’s pets and their owners.

“As a leading animal welfare organisation, we have spent many years campaigning for positive changes to many of these laws, including animal cruelty sentences, long overdue reform of Breed Specific Legislation, banning the use of electric shock collars, regulating the sale of dogs and cats, and making it possible for more people to live with a pet in rented accommodation.

“We believe the proposed appointment of an independent Animal Welfare Commissioner could help with this and we would endeavour to work closely with them to continue to improve the lives of animals across the UK and beyond.”

You can find out more about Battersea’s Pet Friendly Properties campaign here.