Labour will introduce the most comprehensive animal welfare package in a generation

Labour has pledged to introduce the biggest boost in animal welfare for a generation in a bid to end the horrific levels of cruelty animals suffer. 

Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, Steve Reed MP, outlined Labour’s plans to protect endangered species and Britain’s most loved pets. 

Singer and animal rights campaigner Will Young backed Labour’s plans saying:  

“Animals across Britain and the world are subjected to horrific cruelty – from puppies bred in appalling conditions for profit, rabbits used in the testing of consumer products and foxes hunted down by an aggressive pack of dogs. 

“Animal cruelty must be brought to an end. That is why I am proud to back Labour’s plans for the biggest boost to animal welfare for a generation. A vote for Labour, is a vote to end animal suffering.”

Labour’s pledge comes after 14 years of chaos during which the Tories have u-turned on twelve of their animal welfare promises including a crack-down on the illegal smuggling of puppies and a ban on the import of animal-part trophies from hunting endangered animals.  

The next Labour government will introduce legislation to protect Britain’s most loved animals and end animal cruelty. Labour will:

  • Bring back the Kept Animals Bill provisions in full which will: 

o    End the illegal smuggling of animals including dogs, puppies and kittens. 

o    Bring an end to the horrific practice of illegal puppy farming by criminal gangs who profit from animal cruelty.

o    Ban the sale of animals with cropped ears, where part or all of an entire ear flap is removed, a painful practice that traumatises animals and leaves permanent damage. 

o    Prohibit the importation of dogs and cats with fashion-based mutilations.

o    Ban the use of snare traps, an extremely painful thin wire noose used to trap rabbits and foxes. 

o    Ban the importation of heavily pregnant cats and dogs because of the pain and misery they suffer. 

  • Accelerate the phasing out of animal testing: with a Strategic Advisory Board bringing together the best minds across academia, industry and charities to advise on phasing out the use of dogs, minipigs and rabbits in the testing of products.  
  • Bring back the Hunting Trophies Bill in full, banning the import of ‘trophies’ taken from the body parts of slaughtered endangered animals such as elephants, lions, bears and hippos, and instead work with affected countries to strengthen conservation.
  • End trail hunting, by closing loopholes that have allowed the illegal hunting of foxes, deer, and hares to continue. 

This package builds on the party’s proud track record of delivering progress on animal welfare in government, from ending the testing of cosmetic products on animals in 1998, to stopping the cruelty of fur farming in 2000, the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2004 and bringing in the landmark Animal Welfare Act in 2006.

Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, Steve Reed MP, said

“For too long, too many animals including the world’s most endangered species have been left to suffer in silence. 

“The Conservatives are on the side of animal cruelty. Labour will end it. 

“The next Labour government will introduce the biggest boost to animal welfare in a generation to end animal cruelty and protect Britain’s most loved pets.”

Conservative broken animal welfare promises:

  • Abandoning the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – a leading animal welfare bill 
  • Failing to ban cruel e-collars for cats and dogs, which cause harm and suffering to our pets
  • Failing to stop British farmers from being undercut by low welfare imports
  • Failing to introduce legislation to crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies
  • Failing to introduce legislation to crack down on the importation of dogs with mutilations
  • Failing to introduce legislation to ban imports from trophy hunting of endangered species
  • Failing to take action on fur and foie gras imports 
  • Failing to consult on banning cages for farmed animals
  • Failing to ban the keeping of primates as pets – instead introducing a weak licensing regime
  • Failing to bring forward legislation to improve domestic transport conditions for animals 
  • Failing to introduce legislation to crack down on pet theft
  • Failing to consult on banning snares, inhumane devices which have been banned in Wales and Scotland