I would like to thank those of you who have contacted me about primates as pets, live exports of animals for slaughter and fattening, and the importation of puppies.

I support a vision where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and degradation and where we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding. There is a need and an urgency to see better protection for animals, better enforcement, and better funding for services that are trying to look after them.

As you know, the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 8 June 2021 and awaits its Second Reading.

I support a ban on the keeping of and trade in primates as pets, as I believe it to be inhumane and wrong, and I would like to see an end to the live exports of animals for slaughter and fattening.

In my view, we need proper action on the issue of puppy smuggling, and I therefore support increasing the minimum age for puppies being imported to six months. I also share your concerns about the cropping of dogs’ ears and believe we need legislation that is not only tighter but properly enforced. I am concerned that the Government has not brought forward measures on these issues quickly enough.

I further think it essential to call out people who put images of cropped dogs on social media platforms for likes, shares and followers, but who ignore the pain that comes with that dog. In addition to proper enforcement and stricter laws on this issue, I believe the Government must make sure that animal welfare is properly included in the action being taken on online harms, to take account of how the online world can drive poor behaviour in relation to animals.

More widely, I support the appointment of an independent Animal Welfare Commissioner to ensure that government policy is continually informed by the latest scientific evidence on animal sentience and best practice in animal welfare. The Commissioner would ensure that animal welfare standards are always considered as legislation is introduced and as Britain takes part in international bodies, trade deals and obligations.

Thank you once again for contacting me and sharing your views.

Image of an RSPCA officer in high-vis
Image of an RSPCA officer in high-vis
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