Penrith and The Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson has welcomed the progress of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill through the House of Commons Committee stage. Dr Hudson was a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Bill. A Public Bill Committee is a committee set up by the House of Commons to examine and scrutinise the details of a particular Bill.
A new dog abduction offence, which Dr Hudson supported, will be introduced that means offenders facing up to five years in prison. Dr Hudson wants this to be expanded to other animals such as farm livestock, horses and cats and continues to press the Government on this point.
This builds on the UK Government’s commitment to revolutionise the treatment of animals in the UK and introduce measures to protect the welfare of animals abroad, as set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
The Bill will also give new powers to the police to provide greater protection to livestock from dangerous and out of control dogs.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
“As a vet MP and member of the Kept Animals Bill Committee I pressed the case on a number of points in Committee stage including: animal theft, bolstering the UK abattoir network, increasing health checks & treatments in imported animals (eg rabies, ticks, Brucella canis), veterinary capacity, tackling pet smuggling and mutilations such as ear cropping in dogs.
I am pleased that the Government has made progress in a number of these areas but it could still go further.”
Environment Secretary, George Eustice said:
“The Kept Animals Bill will bring in some of the world’s highest and strongest protections for pets, livestock and kept wild animals.
“The loss of a much-loved pet causes unique distress. I am pleased that we are legislating to recognise this specific crime. The new dog abduction offence will reflect the impact on animals in penalties for criminals, and deliver justice for victims.”