Ruth Cadbury condemns Government U-turn on animal welfare

Image above: A puppy raised on an illegal puppy farm

“Extremely disappointing” says Ruth Cadbury

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury has strongly criticised the Government’s recent decision to backtrack on promised reforms aimed at enhancing animal welfare standards in the UK.

The proposed Kept Animals Bill, which had received support from various animal welfare organisations and dedicated campaigners, would have introduced stricter measures to combat puppy smuggling and the prohibition of live animal exports from the UK.

Despite this, on Tuesday (30 May), the Government unexpectedly announced its withdrawal of support for the legislation, effectively halting its progress through the current parliamentary session.

Speaking in full after this announcement Ruth Cadbury MP said:

‘‘It’s extremely disappointing that the Government have U-turned on introducing these much needed reforms around improving animal welfare. Our laws have long been too weak and this is why so many campaigners and animal rights charities have called on the Government to take action, and introduce new legislation to tackle the evil abuses carried out against animals.

“Whether it’s tackling the awful growth in illegal puppy smuggling, banning the import of dogs with cropped ears or banning the export of live animals for slaughter this bill was an ambitious chance to improve animal welfare laws. That’s why it is so disappointing that the Government have u-turned on a previous commitment to introduce the kept animals bill.

“This is simply the wrong decision and shows how out of touch the Government is about the strength of support for improving animal welfare conditions. I will continue to campaign in favour of stronger protections and regulations to protect animals, and hope the Government reverse this decision.’’

Announcing the Government was scrapping the bill and breaking its commitment to its own Tory party supporters, Environment Minister Mark Spencer said:

“Unfortunately this multi-issue nature means … the bill risks being extended far beyond the original commitments in the manifesto and the action plan.

“In particular Labour is determined to play political games by widening the scope of this bill.”