Enforcement and funding will be crucial charity warns
The RSPCA has welcomed the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare and urged them to ‘have courage’ in delivering it.
An unprecedented coalition of 50 animal welfare charities called for the UK Government to take a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ to redefine our relationship with animals through a new animal health and welfare strategy and released a green paper – “Act Now For Animals” – setting out the sector’s priorities.
Animal loving personalities including wildlife presenter Chris Packham, DJ Sara Cox, TV personality Angela Rippon, choreographer and TV presenter Arlene Phillips, actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna and actress Carol Royle added their support in a video:
Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA today applauded the Government’s plans to take action on more than a dozen animal issues which the public care passionately about, including pet issues: tackling puppy smuggling through changes to import rules, introducing compulsory microchipping for cats, cracking down on pet theft through a new government taskforce and banning remote controlled training e-collars.
Sam Gaines, head of the companion animals department at the RSPCA, said: “The past year has highlighted just how important pets are for so many people and so we are thrilled that the Government plans to take action on issues which offer our pets greater protections.
“We are delighted that the sale and use of equipment designed to cause pain and fear will be banned and puppy and kitten imports will be tackled. Throughout the pandemic we have seen many pet owners understandably concerned about pet theft and so we’re pleased to see a new taskforce being introduced to crackdown on pet thefts.
“We’re also pleased to see the Government introducing compulsory microchipping for cats – should a cat be lost, or become injured, they can easily be reunited with their owner.”
Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said: “These announcements could make a real and lasting difference to animals’ welfare, so we’re pleased the Government is committed to improving animals’ lives in the UK and abroad.
“We can no longer ignore the inextricable link that exists between the way we treat animals, our own health and that of the planet – but to really achieve a step change, it will take courage from right across Government.
“We urge the Prime Minister to put animal welfare at the heart of policy making and make these announcements just the beginning of an evolving, holistic animal health and welfare strategy.”
Chris added that as well as needing courage, the Government needs to create an Animal Sentience Committee with real teeth to ensure animals are considered in relevant policy making.
He added: “An Animal Sentience Committee is crucial to the success of future legislation; it must be independent, made up of leading animal welfare experts and be able to meaningfully hold ministers to account. It must not be a token gesture.
“We are pleased the Government will be taking action on many of the top welfare issues that we know the public care passionately about and look forward to working with them to identify further opportunities to improve animal welfare.”