The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “High standards of animal welfare are one of the hallmarks of a civilised society. We have a long tradition of protecting animals in this country, often many years before others follow.”
She’s absolutely right – and there is absolutely no place in this country for animal cruelty.
That’s why we’re putting together a package of policies to protect animal rights in the UK.
That includes protecting animals in our homes, in agriculture, and in the wild.
The UK has always had a deep connection with animals and wildlife. And the policies we’re putting forward during Conservative Party Conference reflect the strongly held concerns and convictions we the British people hold to support animal rights.
We've proposed a progressive policy of cutting emissions in a net zero pledge. These policies for increasing animal rights in the UK goes even further.
So as we leave the European Union and get Brexit done, we will not only maintain but enhance animal welfare standards, placing us in a strong position to lead the world on animal welfare issues.
- Banning Primates as Pets
- Microchipping cats
- Banning Live Exports
- Controlling trade in hunting trophies
Primates are very intelligent, social, wild animals with complicated needs – they simply cannot be kept happily in a domestic environment.
That’s why we’re banning primates as pets in the UK. And those who continue to hold pets as primates will be met with the full force of the law.
We are going to consult on steps to ban the trade in pet primates and phase out the ownership of pet primates. We’re also ensuring any primates currently kept as pets will be safely rehoused.
According to Cats Protection, around eight in ten strays they take into rescue aren’t microchipped. That makes it harder and harder to return cats to their rightful, loving owners.
So we will bring forward a consultation to introduce the same safety measures for cats as already apply to dogs. That way, we can give cat owners peace of mind and increase the measures we have to tackle cat theft.
Theresa Villiers has put animal welfare “at the heart” of what she is trying to achieve as a politician. Improving the animal rights of cats in the UK is a key part of that.
We’re banning the live exports of animals for fattening or for slaughter to further promote animal rights in the UK.
We will consult on restricting live animals’ journeys, requiring approval for longer journeys and bringing forward welfare conditions for long journeys when they are necessary.
Live animal exports are cruel and unnecessary. But the issue has taken 30 years to resolve because it is impossible to regulate against it while we’re within the EU Single Market.
So we’re working to get Brexit done so we can get on with the job of protecting animal welfare once we leave the European Union.
Animal cruelty has no place in a modern society. And there is especially no place for taking trophies from hunting endangered animals.
We’re going to consult on restricting even further the importing and exporting of hunting trophies to and from the UK. We will bring about the toughest trophy-hunting rules in the world.
We will also be putting forward a ban on exotic furs and rugs. Many of these are the result of trophy-hunting, and a ban will further protect animal rights in the UK and across the world.
Zac Goldsmith, the Minister of International Wildlife, has campaigned heavily on this issue and described trophy-hunting as “morally indefensible”. We’re delighted to be able to start putting controls in place over hunting trophies.
Labour’s Brexit policy means they have nothing to offer on animal welfare
We promise to get Brexit done so we can focus on the people’s priorities, and that includes delivering one of the best animal welfare policies in the world. We simply cannot do that while we’re in the European Union.
Labour’s Brexit policy – or their complete lack of – means they have nothing to offer but empty promises on animal welfare. The chaos Labour would put us in would mean there’s no time to get on with the important issues, instead subjecting us to more years of dither and delay.
And many of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet want to keep us tied to the single market and a customs union. That means we’d still be subject to the EU’s laws, and unable to make the changes to truly expand our animal rights and animal welfare policies.
In July 2019 we introduced the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill to Parliament, which will mean animal abusers could face up to five years in prison. That’s a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months and will be one of the toughest punishments for animal abusers in Europe.
If we want to continue this great work, we need to get Brexit done and focus on the people’s priorities.