Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and Live Exports

Thank you for contacting me about the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. 

The UK has a long history of leading the way on animal welfare. I am pleased that now we have left the EU, Ministers are committed to improving our already world-leading standards by delivering a series of ambitious reforms, outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare. Building on the Action Plan, the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill will bring in some of the world’s highest and strongest protections for pets, livestock and kept wild animals. I look forward to supporting the Bill as it makes its way through Parliament.

Primates are highly intelligent animals with complex needs and require specialist care. I am pleased that through the Bill the Government will deliver on the manifesto commitment to introduce a ban on keeping them as pets, ensuring that all primates being kept privately in England are being kept at zoo-level standards and that ownership of primates at a level below these standards is phased out.

I also understand that live animals can endure excessively long journeys during export, causing distress and injury. EU rules prevented any changes to these journeys, but the UK Government is now free to pursue plans which would see a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening. This Bill will ensure that the UK is the first European country to end this practice.

The Government is committed to improving our already world-leading standards by delivering a series of ambitious reforms and I will continue to support it in delivering more humane treatment of animals in South Derbyshire and across our United Kingdom.