Rachel has welcomed new laws which further strengthen the UK’s position as a world leader for animal health and welfare now that we have left the EU.
Last week, three pieces of legislation banning the use of cruel glue traps and introducing fines for people who fail to provide the proper levels of care to their pets, zoo animals and livestock became law.
First, the Glue Traps (Offences) Act bans the use of inhumane glue traps which are a widely available method of rodent control but can cause immense suffering. Animals can remain alive for 24 hours or more, eventually dying of stress, exhaustion, dehydration or self-inflicted injuries. Wildlife and domestic pets can also get stuck to the traps.
A second Act which became law last week, the Animals (Penalty Notices) Act, will see people who fail to properly care for their pets, zoo animals and livestock face fines of up to £5,000.
The measures in the Act will help drive up animal welfare standards closing the gap between warnings and criminal prosecution, and acting as an important deterrent alongside the current five-year maximum prison sentence for animal welfare offences, which was increased through the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act passed last year.
Under this new legislation, fines could be handed out by enforcement authorities to pet breeders who fail to microchip puppies before being rehomed, horse owners tethering their animal in a way that neglects their basic needs or a farmer transporting livestock that are not fit for travel.
And third, the Government’s Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill gained Royal Assent last week. This will create a new Animal Sentience Committee made up of experts from within the field. This committee will hold Government to account on how well their decisions have taken account of the welfare of sentient animals, publishing reports that Ministers need to respond to in Parliament.
These acts build on the action the Government has already taken to boost the UK’s reputation as a global leader on animal rights. Now that we have left the EU, the UK has new freedoms to further strengthen animal health and welfare standards.
“As the owner of two rescue dogs, I just can’t understand how anyone could harm or neglect their pets.
“This is why I have supported these tough new measures as they will act as a powerful deterrent, building on measures we have already taken such as increasing prison sentences for cruelty offences.
“We will also be protecting wildlife and domestic pets from falling victim to inhumane glue traps, and we have delivered on our manifesto commitment to put animal sentience provisions into law.
“The UK, since leaving the EU, has been able to further strengthen its position as a global leader on animal rights and I will continue to support measures to strengthen our position even further.”