This week MPs debated three public petitions on animal welfare, regarding the Government’s Animal Welfare Plan: shark finning, puppy imports and ear cropping. I know these cruel and barbaric practices are of great concern to many constituents – as they are to me. I wanted to give you all more detail and share my thoughts on important legislation which is being brought forward in these particular areas by the Government.
Legislation in the areas mentioned above which the Government have committed to bringing in:
- Ban the import and export of detached shark fins
- Reduce the number of pet dogs, cats and ferrets that can be moved under the pet travel rules which apply to non-commercial movements
- Bring in powers to increase the minimum age that dogs can be non-commercially moved or commercially imported into Great Britain
- Restrict the ability of unscrupulous traders to move heavily pregnant dogs into Great Britain both commercially and noncommercially
- Prioritise the health and welfare of dogs by prohibiting the importation and non-commercial movement of dogs into Great Britain that have been subject to low welfare practices.
- The new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act will enable tougher prison sentences than currently for the most serious perpetrators of animal cruelty, i.e. causing unnecessary suffering to an animal or cropping a dog’s ears. The maximum penalty will be a five-year sentence, one of the toughest punishments in Europe.
In the Westminster Hall debate this week, I was pleased to see the unanimous condemnation of these appalling practices, which I believe reflects how strongly we as a nation stand up and speak out against barbaric practices perpetrated towards helpless animals.
Now the UK is a fully independent nation, I believe yesterday’s debate reaffirmed the ambitious plans this Government have to ensure we become world leaders in animal welfare.