Ms Prentis, Minister of State at the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is overseeing the passage of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill as it progresses through Parliament.
The bill fulfills the government’s commitment to improve the welfare standards of pets, farm animals and wild animals kept in Britain. It completed its second reading in the Commons on Monday and will now proceed to committee stage.
Speaking on the bill, Ms Prentis said: âThe UK has a long history of pioneering animal welfare. We’ve been legislating since 1635, when we banned pulling wool from sheep and tying plows to horses’ tails. I am delighted to be responsible for passing the kept animals bill in the House of Commons, continuing this tradition. The recently released Animal Welfare Action Plan demonstrates the government’s commitment to a better future for animals, both at home and abroad.
âThis bill will include measures to ban exports of live animals for fattening and slaughter which are unnecessarily stressful and cruel. It was an issue on which my late friend Sir David Amess campaigned so ardently for so many years. I know he would be very proud of the progress that has been made.
âWhen it comes to livestock, dog attacks on farm animals are a major concern for farmers. The bill gives improved tools to the police, expands the type of livestock protected and will ensure that the police can respond more effectively.
âThe bill will also crack down on illegal puppy trafficking. New powers will be introduced to combat unethical trade by reducing the number of pets, including dogs, cats and ferrets, that can travel under the pet travel rules.
âPrimates are very intelligent and have complex needs. The bill will prohibit the keeping and breeding of primates by anyone other than a relevant license holder and restricts the sale of primates to those who hold a relevant license. The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 will also be reformed to improve its operation and allow more rigorous enforcement of animal welfare standards.
âI am proud that this bill extends and strengthens the protection of pets, farm animals and kept wild animals.