Mon, 11 December 2023

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Civilised societies don’t betray animals, say leading charities

Andy Knott MBE, Chief Executive

Andy Knott MBE, Chief Executive | League Against Cruel Sports

2 min read Partner content

“…High standards of animal welfare are one of the hallmarks of a civilised society…they have never been more important”, wrote George Eustice, Secretary of State for the Environment last year.

I and my colleagues in the ‘Don’t Betray Animals’ coalition of the UK’s most influential animal charities agree.

So does the public. The positive reaction to the passing of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act, the albeit watered down Animal Sentience Act, and a rule relaxation to allow Ukrainian refugees to enter to UK with their pets, shows the Government just how welcome these laws are.

Pictures from that barbaric war often show the bond humans have with animals: with dogs carried on shoulders and cats inside coats, saved by their loyal owners. Ordinary civilians won’t abandon their pets to face Russian artillery alone. This is the measure of Ukrainian humanity and mettle.

Can our parliamentarians show the same when it comes to specific protections for animals? Or will some use the war to put animals back in their box, hoping any public outcry will be lost in the fog of battles elsewhere?

A new national opinion poll, commissioned by HSI/UK and conducted by YouGov, showed that 87% of respondents felt that the Government should either increase its level of action (63%), or maintain its current level of action (24%), suggests not.

In a world of whopping miscalculations, any such betrayal of animals will be one of them. It will add to the already considerable reckoning that the British public is well known for delivering when promises are broken. If talk on animals turns out to be cheap, then expect it to cost at the ballot box!

The Government must now deliver both the Kept Animals Bill and Animals Abroad Bill – and allay fears they’ve been ensnared in a policy change.

  • Ban live animal exports and imports of hunting trophies, shark fins, fur, and foie gras made by force-feeding.
  • Stop pet theft and imports of underage and mutilated dogs and cats; commercial imports being passed off as pets; and the keeping of primates as pets.
  • Strengthen protections by licensing animal establishments, banning cruel trapping methods such as snares, improving welfare during transport, phasing out the use of cages and crates for farmed animals, and preventing companies advertising trips to see gentle Asian elephants, their spirits first having been broken on the rack.

Don’t betray animals and mark ourselves as an uncivilised society.

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