Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Labour launches progressive Animal Welfare Manifesto
The BVA particularly welcomed Labour’s commitment to enshrine animal sentience in law.
50-point plan welcomed by vets and welfare charities 

The Labour Party has launched a 50-point Animal Welfare Manifesto, laying out a suite of progressive measures to improve welfare for pets, wildlife, livestock and animals used in sport and research.

One of the party’s key pledges if elected, is to enshrine animal sentience in law, extending the definition of ‘animal’ to cover decapod crustaceans and cephalopods - which would ban the practice of boiling lobsters alive.

It would also extend the five-year maximum jail sentence for animal cruelty to cover wild animals, as well as pets.

An independent animal welfare commissioner would also be appointed to ensure welfare standards are always considered when new legislation is introduced.

Other key pledges include:
  • improve accessibility to vets for those on low incomes or living in remote areas
  • ban live animal exports for slaughter and fattening
  • end the badger cull
  • ban the sale and use of electric shock collars, snares and glue traps
  • ban primates as pets
  • introduce mandatory microchipping of cats
  • review the use of the whip in horse racing
  • enhance and strengthen the Hunting Act
  • end the use of cages on farms by 2025 and implement a phased ban on sow farrowing crates
  • review the use of animals in science, with a long-term aim of phasing out animal testing
  • introduce a centralised database for greyhounds after they retire from racing.

The party also pledged to review the practice of driven grouse shooting and tackle illegal hare coursing and persecution of birds of prey. In addition, it said it will ban imports of fur, wild animal trophies and foie gras.

Commenting on the manifesto, Defra shadow secretary Sue Hayman MP said: “This suite of policies on animal welfare seeks to build upon the long standing leadership of the Labour Party on the issue of animal welfare…

“Labour will ensure that we have a comprehensive legislative agenda in place to make sure that the UK has animal rights protections equal to or better than anywhere in the world.”

The BVA particularly welcomed Labour’s commitment to enshrine animal sentience in law.

President Simon Doherty said: “There is considerable and long-standing professional and public feeling behind the campaign to enshrine sentience, which makes it all the more disappointing that it still hasn’t been given the go-ahead despite government assurances that they are committed to the legislation and underpinning principles. 

"Parliamentary time may be tighter than ever before, but there is a golden opportunity here to make the UK’s status as a global leader on animal welfare resoundingly clear.”

Meanwhile pet charities such as Cats Protection and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home welcomed promises to introduce compulsory microchipping for cats, as well as measures to make it easier for pet owners to find pet-friendly accommodation.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.

Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.