Protest in London for scrapping UK Animal Welfare Bill

Protest in London for scrapping UK Animal Welfare Bill
Animal rights activists gathered in Westminster calling on the government to reinstate the Animal Welfare Bill, photo: Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters

Animal rights activists demonstrated in London on Friday against the UK government’s recent decision to abandon the Animal Welfare Bill. The demonstrators gathered at Victoria Embankment, near Big Ben, before making their way to the official residence of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. 

Even though the Animal Welfare Bill, also known as Kept Animals Bill, had the backing of various animal welfare charities, it was dropped unexpectedly on 25 May. Before this move, charities had spent over a year calling on the government to allow the Bill to complete its journey through Parliament, but their calls were met with vague promises and little concrete action.

The Kept Animals Bill was hailed as a major step forward for animal welfare in the UK. Its legislation included a crackdown on puppy smuggling, the introduction of dog abduction as a crime to prevent dog theft and a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening.

The bill also aimed to introduce further measures against the mistreatment of farm animals, improve zoo regulations, and ban the import of dogs with cropped ears into the UK.

“The decision to abandon the Kept Animals Bill is an astonishing betrayal of both animals and public trust,” said Claire Palmer, director of Animal Justice Project. 

“For fifty years, the British public have been vocal in wanting a ban on live exports and last week, following months of stalling in the Commons, this was smashed thanks to this government’s apparent inability to do the right thing,” Palmer added.

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