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National Animal Welfare Trust welcomes government animal welfare plans

Rescue and rehoming charity National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) has welcomed plans announced by the Government to further protect animals.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare, announced in the Queen’s speech on 11 May 2021 addresses several points that affect the animals being managed by rehoming charities like NAWT. Some of these will result in the introduction of new laws and tighter controls.

Of the many points covered in the announcement, is the establishment of a government taskforce to crackdown on pet theft. As one of the first charities to back the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPA) campaigns on pet theft, we are pleased to hear it will be the focus of a new government taskforce.

Pet theft instances have rocketed in the pandemic leaving many pet owners heartbroken. The laws surrounding this seemingly important and single issue are complicated.

Rob Mitchell, CEO, said: “Pet theft is one of the biggest threats facing pet owners at the moment and so it is good to see it being taken seriously by the government. As with all these things, the devil will be in the detail and we look forward to seeing how the work unfolds and will be ready to support our campaigning partners – particularly #FernsLaw and other campaigns managed by the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance – in this important step forward.”

On a similar note, the introduction of compulsory microchipping for cats is another positive move towards protecting pets.

NAWT routinely scans all the pets brought in to its centres and will try to trace any owners if a chip is discovered. As a result, it has been able to reunite some cats with their owners, sometimes after they’ve been separated from each other for years.

If all cats were microchipped, then at least there would be the chance of reuniting them with their owners if they go lost or missing.

Other areas announced this week which are warmly received are the tackling of puppy smuggling, and the ban on remote controlled training e-collars.

Based in Watford, Hertfordshire, and operating five centres across the South of England, NAWT rehomes approximately 1,200 pets a year. They include cats, dogs, rabbits, field animals and birds. NAWT is completely self-funded by the kind donations of our supporters, charitable trusts and corporate sponsors.

For more information please visit nawt.org.uk.

18th May, 2021