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We are delighted to be among a coalition of 50 animal welfare charities urging the Government not to waste a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine our relationship with animals through a new animal health and welfare strategy.
Today (Saturday 8 May 2021), we have released a report – “Act Now For Animals” – setting out the sector’s priorities for creating a society which rebalances the way we rear, live and work with animals.
We hope that the changes we’re advocating for will help protect horses like Inula, who had been shot in the hoof with an air gun.
The report covers everything from the welfare of companion animals, wildlife and exotics to animals reared for food. It has received cross party support and sets out 40 recommendations across species to address the most pressing welfare issues facing animals now, including:
- Ensure equine identification is enforced effectively for the first time in 12 years by introducing a statutory obligation to enforce the rules, requiring the registration of equine premises and make both the owner and the keeper (the Operator) responsible for keeping the Government’s digital equine database up to date; this will ensure data on equines and premises is accurate linking the owner to the horse and so improve animal welfare
- Stop the live export of equines for slaughter and further fattening
- Maximum journey times of 12 hours for all equines being transported
- Review of existing fireworks legislation and their impact on animal welfare, with a view to introducing further restrictions on their use and sale. Public displays should be licensed by the relevant council
- Introduce licencing and inspections of sanctuaries and rescue centres in England and Wales, based on the model operating in Scotland
- Certification or licensing of any person who possesses an air weapon
Chris Packham, who has lent his support to the charities, added: “The last animal welfare strategy was 17 years ago in 2004 and so much has changed since then. The past two decades have seen an attitudinal change in the public and growing scientific understanding that animals have emotions, feelings and needs and deserve a good life.
“We must act now for animals and ensure the Government does not squander this opportunity to build a world-leading animal welfare strategy, fit for the 21st century and deserving of this nation of animal lovers.”
Other influential names lending their support to the action include our patron and TV personality Angela Rippon who has helped with the Act Now For Animals film.
Our Chief Executive Sarah Jane Williamson has contributed to the report. She said: “The legislation recommended in this paper would enable equine welfare organisations to intervene sooner and more strongly in an advisory and educational capacity, and local authorities to carry out enforcement interventions sooner, reducing the number of cases that become pernicious and costly to resolve through public prosecution.”