The British Veterinary Association said it welcomed the Government’s commitment to bringing a suite of measures that provide lasting cross-species benefits into law in the next parliamentary session.
While the Queen’s Speech itself made no mention of animal welfare, the full programme of upcoming legislation accompanying it confirmed that the Kept Animals Bill will continue its passage into law via a carryover motion in the next parliamentary session.
The new legislation comprises a range of measures which will bring in significant positive change for the health and welfare of pets, livestock and wildlife in the UK.
BVA has long campaigned for action in areas covered by the Bill, including measures to tackle puppy smuggling, review zoo standards and impose a ban on keeping primates as pets. However, progress has stalled in recent months owing to other demands on parliamentary time.
Plans to ban the import and sale of fur and foie gras, which would have been introduced via the Animals Abroad Bill, were not included in the Queen’s Speech. BVA has previously cautioned against importing any animal products which fail to meet the UK’s high health and welfare standards.
BVA president Justine Shotton, said: “We’re disappointed that animal welfare didn’t get a mention in the Queen’s Speech itself, but at least reassured that the carryover motion cements plans to finally get the Kept Animals Bill over the line and into law.
“This crucial and long-awaited piece of legislation promises to bring in a cross-species suite of measures that will improve the lives of billions of animals.”
Ms Shotton continued: “The Bill pledges to tackle issues which our members have identified as some of most pressing animal health and welfare issues of our times, and the impact of the pandemic on longstanding concerns such as puppy smuggling has only added to this urgency.
“BVA urges the Government to bring this vital Bill into law as a top priority in the upcoming parliamentary session.”