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Animal Welfare: Standards

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 13265, tabled on 9 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to increase animal welfare standards.

Answered on

18 June 2021

The importance of a secure food supply chain founded upon high-welfare farming, to conserving and protecting wild animals, animal welfare has never been more important.

On 12 May, Defra published the Action Plan for Animal Welfare setting out the Government's plans on animal welfare for this Parliament and beyond. The document provides a high-level overview of more than 40 policy reforms we intend to tackle covering farm animals, pets, sporting animals and wild animals.

Now we have left the EU and our transition period has ended we have the opportunity to go further than ever in protecting our animals. In areas that were previously under the jurisdiction of EU law we can now more freely make our own reforms and fulfil our manifesto commitments on animal welfare.

To enact these plans the Government has an ambitious programme of legislation. We have taken our first steps with the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill and the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. We intend to legislate further in an Animals Abroad Bill. Secondary legislation on many of the policy areas set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare will also be introduced in the coming months. Non-legislative work will be progressed in parallel. Where we have committed to gather further evidence ahead of introducing any changes we will work closely with stakeholders and the public on this.