Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill

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The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was a proposed legislation in the United Kingdom that aimed to improve the welfare of certain kept animals that are in, imported into, or exported from Great Britain. The Bill was introduced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on 8 June 2021 and was withdrawn on 8 June 2023. The Bill covered five key areas:

  • Puppy smuggling: The Bill would reduce the number of pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) that can travel under pet travel rules and give the Government powers to impose further restrictions on the movement of pets on welfare grounds, such as increasing the minimum age of imported puppies and banning the import of pregnant dogs and dogs with mutilations.
  • Live exports: The Bill would ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening, making the UK the first European country to end this practice.
  • Keeping primates as pets: The Bill would ban the keeping of primates as pets, ensuring that all primates being kept privately in England are kept at zoo-level standards and that those unable to meet the standards are phased out.
  • Livestock worrying: The Bill would give new powers to the police to protect livestock from dangerous and out of control dogs and extend this protection to other species such as llamas, ostriches and game birds.
  • Zoos: The Bill would amend the Zoo Licensing Act to improve zoo regulations and ensure that zoos are doing more to contribute to conservation.

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