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UK Conservative Party abandons animal welfare protection plan – POLITICO

UK Conservative Party abandons animal welfare protection plan – POLITICO

 


A bill aimed at improving animal welfare in London and advocated by Boris Johnson has been put on hold, the British government confirmed on Thursday, sparking immediate outrage from some MPs.

Ministers faced backlash claims, including from the Conservative Party bench, after Britain said it would seek other avenues to withdraw animal breeding legislation and introduce some measures instead.

The bill, promised by former Prime Minister Johnson, which introduced other protections, including a bill recognizing animals as sentient beings, would have imposed new restrictions on the import of puppies and halted the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter. The bill has already been suspended once and reintroduced into the Commons last May.

Announcing the move in the House of Commons on Thursday, Environment Minister Mark Spencer insisted the government would still honor its 2019 Conservative Declaration promises on animal welfare. However, he said the action was necessary to avoid “getting sucked into the political game play”.

“This bill risks extending far beyond the original promises of the Declaration and Action Plan,” he argued.

But the announcement drew outrage from the opposition and some environmentalist Conservative MPs.

Conservative MP Teresa Villiers, former environment minister, said she felt “frustrated” that the bill would not return to Parliament, while backbench Conservative MP Giles Watling told The Spectator: “I was completely disappointed to hear this bill that I pushed through. “he said. Because they can be excluded for a long time for seemingly no reason.”

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundations, including Conservative MPs, immediately reacted, calling it “a missed opportunity to further strengthen the welfare and protection of animals across the UK”.

“We elected this government on a platform where nearly 14 million people have pledged to help animals,” the group said in a statement.

“More recently Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in his leadership campaign in 2022 promised a continuation of this bill. It is these commitments we urge the government to respect today and ensure provisions to improve the lives of countless animals. A bill set forth in a bill shall be enforced by law.”

Labor Party Nature Minister Alex Sobel called the announcement “a huge setback for animal welfare”.

The Humane Society, a nonprofit organization that calls for an end to animal suffering, called the decision “a remarkable betrayal of the trust of animals and the public.”

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