UK to lead the way on animal welfare through flagship new Action Plan
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has announced that microchipping will be compulsory for cats in the United Kingdom as part of an Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
The Action Plan was launched by the Environment Secretary George Eustice on Wednesday 12th May, and will build on our existing standards by recognising animals as sentient in law and committing to a range of new game changing welfare measures to protect pets, livestock and wild animals.
The Action Plan for Animal Welfare also sets out how the government will:
Improve welfare for pets by:
- tackling puppy smuggling through changes to import rules
- introducing compulsory microchipping for cats
- cracking down on pet theft through a new government taskforce
- banning remote controlled training e-collars
Protect wild animals by:
- making it illegal to keep primates as pets
- introducing new laws to crack down on illegal hare coursing
- supporting legislation to restrict the use of glue traps
- funding wildlife conservation projects both at home abroad
Protect animals abroad by:
- banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals
- banning the sale of ivory by implementing the Ivory Act this year
- prohibiting the import and export of detached shark fins to protect the iconic shark species
- exploring a ban on the sale of foie gras
- banning the advertisement in this country of unacceptable low-welfare animal practices abroad – such as elephant rides
Improve welfare for farmed animals by:
- ending the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter
- introducing new measures to improve welfare during transport
- giving the police more powers to protect farm animals from dangerous or out of control dogs
- examining the use of cages for poultry and farrowing crates for pigs
- improving animal welfare at slaughter
- incentivising farmers to improve animal health and welfare through future farming policy
Peter Laurie, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said: “Battersea very much welcomes the new Action Plan for Animal Welfare. Every dog and cat deserves to be safe from harm and this means clamping down on those trading animals illegally and in poor welfare conditions, being proactive to protect owners from the devastation of having their pet lost or stolen, and doing everything we can to reunite them.
“Our pets are not only sentient beings, but much-loved family members and we support any measures that will protect them from unnecessary suffering, and reassure dog and cat owners, both now and in the future.”
The full Action Plan for Animal Welfare can be accessed here.