As we previously set out in an Oral Statement in the House, we remain fully committed to delivering our manifesto commitments.
Given the successful progress so far in this Parliament of so much single-issue legislation and the pressures that the original Bill faced from broader interests beyond the original manifesto commitments, we will be taking forward measures in the Kept Animals Bill individually during the remainder of the Parliament - the most effective route possible.
A Defra spokesperson said:
The UK is a world leader on animal welfare and we are fully committed to maintaining and enhancing our strong track record to date.
We are committed to delivering the Kept Animals Bill measures individually during the remainder of this Parliament and look forward to progressing these. We will be setting out next steps in due course.
We are also supporting Private Members’ Bills currently before Parliament banning the import of detached shark fins, banning the import of hunting trophies and banning the advertising and offering for sale here of unacceptably low animal welfare activities abroad.
Action we’ve already delivered on animal welfare since 2010 includes:
- Recognised animal sentience in law and introduced accountability to Parliament for how well all government policy decisions pay due regard to the welfare needs of animals.
- Ramped up enforcement with:
- Increased maximum sentences for animal cruelty from six months to five years’ imprisonment.
- New financial penalty notice powers in addition to other existing penalties under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
- New protections for service animals with ‘Finn’s Law’.
- Raised farm animal welfare:
- Launched the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with new annual vet visits and grants.
- Implemented a revised welfare at slaughter regime and introduced CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
- Banned traditional battery cages for laying hens, permitted beak trimming via only infra-red technology.
- Raised standards for meat chickens.
- Significantly enhanced companion animal welfare:
- Revamped the local authority licensing regime for commercial pet services including selling, dog breeding, boarding, animal displays.
- Banned the third party puppy and kitten sales with Lucy’s Law.
- Made microchipping compulsory for cats and dogs.
- Introduced offences for horse fly-grazing and abandonment.
- Introduced new community order powers to address dog issues.
- Provided valuable new protections for wild animals:
- Banned wild animals in travelling circuses.
- Passed the Ivory Act which came into force last year, including one of the toughest bans on elephant ivory sales in the world, and extended it to five further species.
- Gave the police additional powers to tackle hare coursing.
- Banned glue traps.
- Supported the Private Member’s Bill currently before Parliament banning the import of hunting trophies.
- Supported the Private Member’s Bill currently before Parliament banning trade in detached shark fins.
- Supported the Private Member’s Bill currently before Parliament banning the advertising and offering for sale here of unacceptably low animal welfare activities abroad.
The UK already has among the highest standards of animal welfare in the world. The steps announced today and we remain committed to enhancing them further.