The petitions site is closed.

There will be a General Election on Thursday 4 July. This means that Parliament has been dissolved and that all parliamentary business – including petitions – has been stopped.

Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

Closed petition Ban the sale of inappropriately sized enclosures and wheels for small animals

We think the Government should introduce minimum enclosure and wheel sizes for small animals and ban the sale of any that do not fit this criteria. Travel enclosures and carriers should still be available, however.

More details

I run a small animal rescue and I see animals suffer in a huge way due to people unknowingly neglecting their animals' needs. We think there are a lot of inadequate enclosures available for sale in pet stores, and that new legislation is needed to improve animals' lives.

The Government should look at resources produced by animal welfare groups for guidance to make standards for enclosure sizes appropriate for each animal. Animals such as; Hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Rats, Mice and Rabbits.

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

11,124 signatures

Show on a map

100,000

Government responded

This response was given on 13 May 2024

Existing statutory guidance requires that enclosures sold with animals are a suitable size for the animal purchased, prioritising its welfare. We have no wider plans to set mandatory sizes.

Animals should always be housed in enclosures of a suitable size to accommodate their welfare needs and natural behaviours, as well as providing adequate space for exercise and enrichment.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (LAIA Regulations) set strict animal welfare standards that commercial sellers of pets, such as breeders and pet shops, must adhere to. One provision of the LAIA Regulations is that sellers must ensure that any equipment and accessories being sold with an animal are suitable for the animal. Owners should be advised to purchase enclosures and accessories, such as wheels, which are more generous in size than minima set out in statutory guidance. These can be found in Parts E to H of the statutory guidance for Selling animals as pets licensing:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/animal-activities-licensing-guidance-for-local-authorities/selling-animals-as-pets-licensing-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities--2

In addition, commercial sellers are required to provide those purchasing animals with information on how to care for them. This includes advice on feeding, housing, handling, husbandry, the life expectancy of its species, the provision of suitable accessories and veterinary care. We will continue to support efforts by pet sellers and animal welfare groups to educate owners on the welfare needs of their pets.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is an offence for owners and keepers either to cause an animal unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for its welfare. Anyone failing to ensure that their animal’s welfare needs are met may face an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months, or both. If anyone has any concerns about the welfare of an animal that is being kept in unacceptable conditions, they should report the matter to the relevant local authority who have the necessary powers to investigate.

Thank you for raising this important matter. We are committed to a brighter future for animals.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs