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Animal Welfare: Prosecutions

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2008, Official Report, columns 1070-1W, on animal welfare: prosecutions, what steps are being taken (1) to increase the number of prosecutions for those abusing animals; (247841)

(2) to reduce the numbers of animals being abused.

The introduction of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 has already had a significant impact on improving the welfare of animals. We believe the new welfare offence, tightening up the law relating to animal fighting and ending the loopholes that allowed miscreants to circumvent disqualification orders introduced in the Act will help reduce the number of animals being abused. We are also currently in the process of producing new codes of practice for keeping dogs, cats and horses. These will help educate the public as to how to better keep their animals. We are also working on new secondary legislation under the Animal Welfare Act to help protect the welfare of racing greyhounds, and new codes of practice on the keeping of primates by private collectors and the rearing of gamebirds.