Strengthening our animal welfare laws is a priority for the Opposition. People want to see us go further on animal welfare. All animals deserve protection and I believe it is wrong to promise tougher legislation if promises are then not seen through.
The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill would introduce a licensing system for keeping primates as pets, ban the live export of animals for fattening and slaughter, and allow the Government to make regulations about the importation of cats, dogs and ferrets into Great Britain. It was last scrutinised by Parliament on 18 November 2021. I am pleased the Bill passed a carry-over motion. The Government states it will be re-introduced as soon as time allows.
I agree it is inhumane and wrong to keep primates as pets. The Bill does not deliver on promises made, as its licensing system allows for the continued breeding and selling of primates. The Opposition tabled an amendment at Committee Stage to introduce a full ban, but disappointingly the Government voted this down.
You can read my policy response to the bill at:
You may further like to read my response to other animal welfare issues at:
I have long supported measures to ban live exports of animals for slaughter and fattening. I share welfare concerns about what many of those animals experience in being transported for a long time.
We need proper action on the issue of puppy smuggling. The Bill introduces a limit of five puppies and kittens per vehicle, but I think it should be three. Furthermore, I support increasing the minimum import age for puppies to six months and increased maximum penalties for those who illegally import dogs.
The import of fur and fur products into the UK, a barbarous and unnecessary trade, should be banned at the earliest opportunity. I support banning foie gras imports, the production of which is rightly banned in the UK.
Additionally, I support ending the import of wild animal trophies from threatened species. Any ban should cover all species classed as vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered and extinct in the wild.
I further believe new laws must be the next step if the travel sector cannot meet the challenge of removing holidays and excursions that abuse animals.
All details are correct at date of publication shown at the top of the article