Skip to main content

Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill

Volume 728: debated on Thursday 23 February 2023

9. What discussions she has had with the Leader of the House on the parliamentary timetable for the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. (903659)

The Bill contains a variety of manifesto commitments that we are committed to progressing when parliamentary time allows, but the Leader of the House will continue to announce business in the usual way.

The 2021 commitment to tackle puppy smuggling via the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was welcomed by a number of my constituents, but many of them are now concerned, because the secondary legislation being considered under the frozen Bill includes provisions to restrict the movement of heavily pregnant dogs, young puppies and dogs with cropped ears, and the level of puppy smuggling continues to rise. Can the Secretary of State provide assurances that the Government will continue to work towards ending this horrible practice and the movement of these poor animals across the border?

Yes, I can give the hon. Lady that assurance. It is our intention to deliver the manifesto commitments, and we are doing that in a number of different ways and have provided legislation to support a number of those commitments through private Members’ Bills. But as I say, the Leader of the House will continue to be responsible for announcing how the business of Government Bills will progress.

For years, we have told people that we could not do anything about the cruelty of live export. The Secretary of State will understand those people’s frustration now that it is in our gift and in the Bill, won’t she?

Indeed. That is why it was a commitment in our manifesto: it is a freedom that we will be able to deploy having left the European Union. I am conscious that people are very interested in the progress of the Bill, but I stand by my earlier answer.