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Animal Welfare

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 128322, tabled on 10 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2020 to Question 124350 on Pest Control: Animal Welfare, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on animal welfare and animal-related measures.

Answered on

15 December 2020

On 3 December, the Government launched an eight-week consultation on the ban of live animal exports for fattening or slaughter. The Government is also consulting on proposals to further improve animal welfare in transport more generally, such as reduced maximum journey times, animals being given more space and headroom during transport, stricter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures and tighter rules for transporting live animals by sea.

On 12 December, the Government launched proposals to ban keeping primates as pets in England, inviting the public to have their say on the issue over the next eight weeks. Findings from a recent call for evidence found that these animals' complex needs cannot be met in a home environment. Under these new plans, it will be an offence to keep a primate as a pet in England. Only those keeping primates to zoo level standards will be permitted to keep primates.

The Government is in the process of refining proposals for the manifesto commitments on the introduction of laws on animal sentience, a ban on the import of hunting trophies and tackling puppy smuggling, and will be publishing further detail in the coming weeks. We are still considering the best legislative vehicle to bring forward these reforms in the near future. We will be engaging with stakeholders and other Government departments as necessary.

Our manifesto commitment to introduce mandatory cat microchipping will be brought forward via secondary legislation in the coming months. The Government continues to support the passage of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill in Parliament to deliver our manifesto commitment to increase the maximum available penalty for the worst animal cruelty offences from six months to five years.

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