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RSPCA accuses Government of breaking dog welfare promises

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As the Tory party conference takes centre stage, the RSPCA has levelled allegations against the Government of back tracking on its commitments to animal welfare, with several dog related promises being scrapped.

Among the 15 broken pledges, stricter rules on importing dogs, puppy smuggling, pet theft and the banning of shock collars have been abandoned.

The pledges – made in the proposed Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – were first introduced to parliament in June 2021 but have subsequently been shelved. 

Animal lovers had cause for optimism when Boris Johnson in his first speech as Prime Minister promised to ‘promote the welfare of animals [which is] so close to the hearts of British people.’

However, four years on, and under the stewardship of Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the Government has failed to deliver, according to Emma Slawinski, the RSPCA’s Director of Policy, Prevention and Campaigns.

In an article published on Comment Central, Ms Slawinski said ‘I fear the UK Government has forgotten how much animal welfare means to the people of these islands’

In response, a DEFRA spokesperson said: “We do not recognise these claims. As the highest ranked G7 nation when it comes to World Animal Protection’s Animal Protection Index, the UK is a world leader on animal welfare, and we are fully committed to maintaining and enhancing our strong track record.”

The full list of animal-related broken promises are:

  1. Stricter rules on importing dogs.
  2. Increasing the punishment for pet theft.
  3. Banning shock collars.
  4. Banning the importation of dogs with cropped ears.
  5. Banning conventional battery chicken cages.
  6. Banning exports of farm animals for fattening and slaughter.
  7. Granting the police extra powers to protect livestock from livestock-worrying.
  8. Banning the importation of furs.
  9. Banning the importation and sale of foie gras.
  10. Upholding UK standards for imports in Free Trade Agreements with Australia, New Zealand, TransPacific.
  11. Plans for a consultation into mandatory welfare labelling on animal products.
  12. Promises to launch a call for evidence for the use of snares.
  13. Renters (Reform) Bill: Plans to end “blanket bans” on pets in rental homes.
  14. Slaughter law: No progress has happened on promises to review the law.
  15. No progress on a promised consultation on updating standards related to game birds.

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