Labour’s new animal welfare plan unveiled

Labour has launched radical action on Animal Welfare that would look at introducing a ban on the live export of animals for slaughter, consult landlords on giving tenants the right to keep a pet, strengthen the Hunting Act, enshrine the principal of animal sentience in law, end the badger cull, implement a review of animal testing and expand affordable vet care for people on low incomes.

The 50 point draft policy document, ‘Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few,’ is out for public consultation and proposes appointing an Animal Welfare Commissioner to ensure Government policy across Whitehall is continually informed by the latest scientific evidence on animal sentience.

The Commissioner would also ensure animal welfare standards are always considered in new legislation and are maintained in Britain’s involvement in international bodies and post-Brexit trade deals.

The announcement has been welcomed by a number of animal welfare organisations.

Proposed policies include:

· Enshrining the principle of animal sentience in law, ensuring it covers all policy areas to prevent practices that expose animals to cruel and degrading treatment
· Strengthening the Hunting Act to close loopholes that allow illegal hunting
· Consult landlords on giving tenants the default right to keep pets unless there is evidence the animal is causing a nuisance
· Mandatory labelling of domestic and imported meat, including country of origin, method of production and slaughter (stun or non-stun)
· Establishing an independent zoo inspectorate to draw up revised standards of animal welfare
· Total ban on imports of Foie Gras
· Ending the badger cull
· Requiring motorists to report accidents where an animal has been injured
· Banning live exports of animals for slaughter or fattening and introducing mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses
· Designing post-Brexit farm subsidies to move away from intensive factory farming and bad environmental practices
· Prohibiting the third party sale of puppies and tackling puppy smuggling by reintroducing rabies testing before entry into the UK
· Working with organisations like the PDSA to expand accessibility to affordable vet care for pet owners on low incomes
· A comprehensive review of animal testing with a view to improving practice, limiting animal suffering and increasing transparency
· Introducing a ‘blue belt’ to protect and enhance the marine environment around the UK and our overseas territories

Labour Animal Welfare Society said: 

It is fantastic that animal welfare is a priority for Labour. Good animal welfare policies are popular and important to the electorate.

Past Labour Governments had an historic impact on animal welfare, from the Hunting Act, to the Animal Welfare Act, to the globally admired ban on fur factory farming.

Labour’s new animal welfare policy is not only true to this legacy, it builds on it and takes animal welfare to the next level. The next Labour Government will be a good government for animals.


Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

“Labour is the party of animal welfare. From bringing in the ban on fox hunting to tightening the rules on the transport of live animals, Labour has always been consistent in our leadership on matters of animal welfare.

We’re making proposals for real, long-term progress. Our vision is one where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding.

“With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we want to ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place so that the UK becomes a world leader on animal rights.”

Read the full Animal Welfare Plan here:

The Labour Party has made this policy document open for consultation. This is also a great opportunity for members to get involved in the party’s animal welfare policy, so if you have areas of interest or further suggestions then please contribute here: