Queens Speech – Animal Welfare

“Legislation will also be brought forward to ensure the United Kingdom has, and promotes, the highest standards of animal welfare.”

Animal Welfare Plan and Legislation

“Legislation will also be brought forward to ensure the United Kingdom has, and promotes, the highest standards of animal welfare,”

The purpose of the plan and legislation is to:

● Deliver on our commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare by
bringing forward ambitious plans to improve standards and eradicate cruel
practices through an Action Plan for Animal Welfare and legislation.
● Take advantage of our status as an independent nation outside the EU to go further in protecting our animals, whether on the farm, at home or in the wild and address the challenges presented to the welfare of animals in both the domestic and international spheres.
● Solidify and enhance our position as a global leader in protecting animal welfare by influencing practices and setting high standards for others across the world to follow.

The main benefits of the plan and legislation would be:

● Bringing in greater protections for wild animals by ending low welfare practices and enhancing conservation measures.
● Protecting and enhancing animal welfare for farm animals, bringing in more support for livestock farmers and ensuring effective powers are available to address welfare challenges.
● Recognising the importance of pets to people’s lives and cracking down on pet theft and improving the operation of microchipping practices.
● Continuing to lead the way in animal sentience by putting it at the heart of policymaking and strengthening the penalties for those who abuse animals.
● Building on our reputation as a global leader for international advocacy on animal welfare and ensuring that our high animal welfare standards are not compromised in our trade negotiations.

The main elements of the plan and legislation are:

● Setting out our ambitious and wide-ranging plan for driving forward reforms in the first of its kind Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
● Delivering our commitment to recognise animal sentience in law through the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill.
● Increasing protections for pets, sporting animals, and farm animals by ending the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter, bringing in more effective powers to tackle livestock worrying, ending the low welfare practice of keeping primates as pets, improving standards in zoos, cracking down on puppy smuggling, and enhancing conservations through a Kept Animals Bill.
● Banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals abroad and ending the advertising for sale here of low welfare experiences abroad through an Animals Abroad Bill.
● Implementing the Ivory Act to ban dealing in elephant ivory and consider further steps to limit the trade and sale of foie gras.
● Co-designing and implementing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with industry to promote the production of healthier, higher welfare animals; and fulfilling our commitment to a wide-ranging review into food labelling.
● Bringing in mandatory cat microchipping, reviewing the operation of the current microchip databases, which also apply to dogs, with a view to introducing improvements.
● Continuing our initiatives to educate the public on how to buy pet dogs and cats responsibly via our National ‘Petfished’ Communications Campaign and drawing up recommendations on how to tackle pet theft through the newly created cross Government taskforce.

Enviroment Bill

Another confirmed commitment is to new, legally binding environmental targets in the form of the Environment Bill. The Government said it will pass the legislation in the lead up to the international Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow at the end of year.

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