It’s the week of the two-year anniversary of the government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, and only about a quarter of the plan’s commitments have been acted on and only one of its three bills partially delivered.
To mark the occasion, PETA supporters dressed as Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hung a row of stuffed animals on a clothes line in front of Downing Street, calling on the prime minister to stop hanging animals out to dry.
An army of animal protection allies – including PETA, Compassion in World Farming, FOUR PAWS, Animal Aid, the RSPCA, and Humane Society International – is urging the PM to honour his government’s plan to “further strengthen animal welfare standards and reinforce [the UK’s] position as a global champion of animal rights”.
The Action Plan for Animal Welfare
In 2021, the government outlined ambitious plans to bring forward new legislation to “ensure the United Kingdom has, and promotes, the highest standards of animal welfare”.
This was to be achieved by delivering an Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which laid out government commitments to banning fur and foie gras imports, the importation of hunting trophies from endangered animals, and live-animal exports, among other aims and ambitions for animals.
The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – which seeks to ban the live export of animals for “fattening” and slaughter overseas, prevent primates from being kept as “pets”, and crack down on puppy smuggling – is set to expire in autumn if the government fails to put it back on the parliamentary agenda.
The government has already dropped the promised Animals Abroad Bill, which would have banned imports of hunting “trophies”, fur, and foie gras as well as the promotion of elephant rides overseas. The import of hunting trophies and advertising of low-welfare activities overseas are part of current private members’ bills, while promised bans on fur and foie gras have been deprioritised.
Urge the Government to Act
Animals continue to suffer, and the government has seemingly abandoned them by bizarrely walking away from its own action plan. Time is now running out to deliver on it.
PETA is calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ensure the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill becomes law, along with every other piece of promised pro-animal legislation, without further delay.
Please join us in urging the government to act for animals: