HC Deb 13 May 1998 vol 312 c145W
Mr. Gale

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the(a) facilities, (b) standards of care and (c) standards of inspection in quarantine kennels; if he will revoke the licences of those quarantine kennels that are below acceptable standards; and if he will make a statement. [41511]

Mr. Rooker

[holding answer 12 May 1998]All authorised quarantine premises in Great Britain are inspected by MAFF Veterinary Officers at least four times a year. The inspections are carried out to check that if any animal on the premises had rabies, the disease would not be transmitted. Serious infringements could result in revocation of authorisation. The inspections also look at compliance with the Voluntary Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs and Cats in Quarantine Premises in respect of those premises that have agreed to abide by the Code. Should the Animal Health (Amendment) Bill, which the Government support, receive Royal Assent, this Voluntary Code of Practice will be replaced by statutory welfare standards.

A television programme on 5 May made serious allegations about disregard for the quarantine regulations and poor welfare of animals at two quarantine kennels. These are being looked into urgently by my department, and inspection visits to the premises concerned have taken place since the programme.