Government Animal Welfare Strategy

May 13, 2021 1:10 pm Published by

DEFRA has released their strategy for Animal Welfare this week which is likely to be followed by three Bills in Parliament. The first will be the Sentience Bill, followed by a Companion Animal Welfare Bill and then an International Animal Welfare Bill. The Government has said through these Bills they will aim to do the following:

Improve welfare for pets by:

  • tackling puppy smuggling through changes to import rules
  • introducing compulsory microchipping for cats
  • cracking down on pet theft through a new government taskforce
  • banning remote controlled training e-collars

Protect wild animals by:

  • making it illegal to keep primates as pets
  • introducing new laws to crack down on illegal hare coursing
  • supporting legislation to restrict the use of glue traps
  • funding wildlife conservation projects both at home abroad

Protect animals abroad by:

  • banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals
  • banning the sale of ivory by implementing the Ivory Act this year
  • prohibiting the import and export of detached shark fins to protect the iconic shark species
  • exploring a ban on the sale of foie gras
  • banning the advertisement in this country of unacceptable low-welfare animal practices abroad – such as elephant rides

Improve welfare for farmed animals by:

  • ending the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter
  • introducing new measures to improve welfare during transport
  • giving the police more powers to protect farm animals from dangerous or out of control dogs
  • examining the use of cages for poultry and farrowing crates for pigs
  • improving animal welfare at slaughter
  • incentivising farmers to improve animal health and welfare through future farming policy

There will be implications for enforcement and LGAWG will work with DEFRA to consider this and what it means for Local Government.