CTSI has expressed its disappointment at the announcement that the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill is set to be scrapped by the Government after almost completing its passage through the House of Commons.
The Bill was a comprehensive piece of legislation designed to strengthen the legal framework for safeguarding the rights and welfare of certain kept animals that are in, exported from, or imported into the UK.
The key animal welfare issues the Bill was set to address issues included the keeping of primates as pets; the importation of dogs, cats and ferrets; the export of livestock; dog attacks on livestock; and zoos.
CTSI Lead Officer for Animal Health and Welfare, Stephanie Young, said: “Whilst recognising that the Kept Animals Bill was not the panacea to resolving several concerns regarding the laws for protecting animal welfare, the law, if enacted, would have strengthened some of the existing rules.
“It is disappointing that the Bill has been dropped and it is hoped that Government will continue conversations with all organisations with an interest in animal health and welfare to look for alternative ways that some of the proposals in the Kept Animals Bill can be made.”
British Veterinary Association President, Malcolm Morley, said: “News that the Kept Animals Bill will not progress through parliament is extremely disappointing. This crucial legislation, and the package of measures it contained, would have prevented the immeasurable suffering of thousands of animals by tackling puppy smuggling, the importation of dogs with cropped ears, live animal exports and the keeping of primates as pets.”
Mark Spencer MP, Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), insisted that the Government is still “fully committed” to cracking down on puppy smuggling and banning imports of young, heavily pregnant or mutilated dogs but claimed that this will be achieved with a single-issue Bill rather than through the Kept Animals Bill.
CTSI said it remains committed to campaigning for the inclusion of these safeguarding measures in legislation and will be raising questions to Government on the next steps.