Animal charities unite to call on government to get the best deal for animals in Brexit negotiations

Humane Society International

Humane Society International UK has worked closely with Wildlife and Countryside Link and the UK Centre for Animal Law to lead the drafting of a manifesto for animals, now supported by over 40 of the UK’s biggest and most respected animal charities.

In the report we urge government to ensure animal welfare protections are strengthened, not weakened or lost, as the UK leaves the European Union. We also outline many specific recommendations for action to improve animal welfare, including a ban on fur and foie gras imports, action to stop the cruel puppy trade, and an end to the export of live animals for slaughter.

Importantly, the manifesto also calls on the government to priortise animal protection in all future trade agreements as it negotiates deals with countries worldwide.

The UK government has stated it wants to be seen as a world leader on animal welfare, this report includes a list of actions that will help realise those goals and ensure better welfare for animals both here in the UK and around the world.

HSI UK’s Executive Director, Claire Bass, is Chair of Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Animal Welfare Strategy Group, and said: ‘Legal protections from the EU have helped raise animal welfare standards but as the Secretary of State has said, there is still substantial room for improvement. Animal welfare matters to voters, and it matters to British businesses; the government can satisfy both by taking the tangible steps in our report. Animal protection NGOs are united in urging government to capitalise on Brexit as a once in a generation opportunity to protect and improve the lives of billions of animals.’

Charities supporting the manifesto include the RSCPA, Born Free, International Fund for Animal Welfare, PETA, Dogs Trust and Compassion in World Farming.

The full report is available here.

Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill

HSI UK has responded to the government’s consultation on the draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill.

We welcome this Bill and consider it an important piece of new legislation to ensure that animal welfare protections are not lost as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

The Bill will place a duty on policy makers to take animal welfare into account in their decision making, and in our response we encourage the creation of a new Animal Protection Commission to help support and police that duty. The Bill would also increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences from 6 months to 5 years imprisonment, we of course welcome this and hope it will act as a much needed deterrent to would-be animal-abusers.

You can read our full response here.