RSPCA calls on government to push forward law to protect animals

THE RSPCA has urged new prime minister Rishi Sunak to stick by the Conservative party’s plans for animal welfare.
The animal charity is urging the government to pursue the stalled Kept Animals Bill.
The law has been in limbo and “missing in action” since November 2021, the RSPCA says.
Calls have been backed by Henry Dimbleby, author of the independent National Food Strategy and the UK government’s food tsar, who has previously called for animal welfare not to be sacrificed in a “bonfire of red tape” but believes Sunak can offer “renewed hope” for animal welfare’s place on the policy agenda.
Amid claims PM Sunak is set to return to the contents of the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto for his policy agenda, the RSPCA hopes bringing the Bill back before Parliament will help ensure the UK government prioritises animal welfare and meets its manifesto pledges.
Ahead of the 2019 General Election, the Conservative Party pledged to crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies, end excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening and ban the keeping of primates as pets.
The Kept Animals Bill commits to these pledges by banning the live transport of animals, placing restrictions on the keeping of primates as pets and ending the importation of puppies with cropped ears, as well as other pro-animal measures such as dealing with pet theft.
However, the Bill has seen no action since Committee stage in November 2021.
Emma Slawinski, RSPCA director of policy, said: “As the new prime minister pledges to dust off the Conservative Party manifesto of 2019, we’d urge him to start by reviving the missing-in-action Kept Animals Bill, and avoid any risk of trampling on this country’s animal welfare legacy.”
Mr Dimbleby, a non-executive board member at Defra, delivered the inaugural RSPCA Wilberforce lecture last month.
He said: “This law has been in the making for literally decades.
“The cruel and unnecessary practice of live animal transport was rightly a manifesto commitment for this government and it is one they must not renege on.”

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