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Labour introduces new animal welfare draft policy

Labour wants to give pet owners more power so they are able to keep their pets when in a rental property.

Currently, landlords are able to deny tenants who wish to keep their pets in their property.

The Labour party has launched a ‘radial action on Animal Welfare’ that would also look at introducing a ban on the live export of animals for slaughter, strengthen the Hunting Act, enshrine the principal of animal sentience in law, end the badger cull, implement a review of animal testing and expand affordable vet care for people on low incomes.

The 50 point draft policy document, ‘Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few,’ will go out for public consultation and proposes appointing an Animal Welfare Commissioner to ensure Government policy across Whitehall is continually informed by the latest scientific evidence on animal sentience.


The Commissioner would also ensure animal welfare standards are always considered in new legislation and are maintained in Britain’s involvement in international bodies and post-Brexit trade deals.

The announcement has been welcomed by the League against Cruel Sports, Compassion in World Farming and WWF.

Proposed policies include:

  • Enshrining the principle of animal sentience in law, ensuring it covers all policy areas to prevent practices that expose animals to cruel and degrading treatment
  •  Strengthening the Hunting Act to close loopholes that allow illegal hunting
  • Consult landlords on giving tenants the default right to keep pets unless there is evidence the animal is causing a nuisance
  • Establishing an independent zoo inspectorate to draw up revised standards of animal welfare
  •  Requiring motorists to report accidents where an animal has been injured
  • Prohibiting the third party sale of puppies and tackling puppy smuggling by reintroducing rabies testing before entry into the UK
  •  Working with organisations like the PDSA to expand accessibility to affordable vet care for pet owners on low incomes
  • Introducing a ‘blue belt’ to protect and enhance the marine environment around the UK and our overseas territories

Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: “Labour is the party of animal welfare. From bringing in the ban on fox hunting to tightening the rules on the transport of live animals, Labour has always been consistent in our leadership on matters of animal welfare.

“Today we’re making proposals for real, long-term progress. Our vision is one where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding.

“With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we want to ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place so that the UK becomes a world leader on animal rights.”

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