Tory MP says abandoning animal welfare bill ‘is a stain on our record’

Animal lovers are fighting back after the Tories ditched plans for new laws that would clamp down on puppy smuggling and ban live animal exports.

The Kept Animals Bill was promised in Boris Johnson’s 2019 manifesto – and Rishi Sunak re-committed to it during his leadership campaign last year.

But now it has been dropped, leading MP Andrea Jenkyns to launch a petition calling on the PM to reverse the decision.

She said: “As a Conservative I am proud of the party’s history on animal welfare.

“But the abandonment of the Kept Animals Bill is a stain on this record. Voters will not stand by while key manifesto commitments to end live exports and address puppy smuggling are left by the wayside.

“I hope this petition will demonstrate the unequivocal support the Bill has from the public and MPs, and urge the Government to reconsider this decision.”

The MP for Morley and Outwood’s online campaign and petition has racked up more than 6,000 signatures since its launch on Monday.

It is backed by the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, which counts Carrie Johnson among its patrons.

The organisation’s co-founder Lorraine Platt said: “Like many, we were disappointed by the Government’s decision to discontinue the Kept Animals Bill and urge for the manifesto commitments to be delivered.

“Almost 14 million people elected this Government on a platform which promised to deliver for animals.

“More recently, the continuation of this Bill was promised by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in 2022 during his leadership campaign.

“We urge all of our supporters and MPs to sign this important petition and demonstrate the strong support that exists across the country for the measures included in the Bill.”

Ms Jenkyns also has the support of Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan, TV vet Marc Abraham and Countdown star Rachel Riley.

Her petition will be considered for debate in Parliament if it reaches 100,000 signatures. The Bill had got past its second reading in the Commons before it was abandoned.

The Government has insisted manifesto pledges will be kept through single-issue legislation in this Parliamentary session.

Environment Minister Mark Spencer said the Bill “risked being extended far beyond the original commitments” when he announced it was being ditched.

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, said: “The UK is a world leader on ­animal welfare and we are fully committed to maintaining and enhancing our strong track record to date.

“We are committed to delivering our manifesto commitments and other welfare measures individually during the remainder of this Parliament and look forward to progressing these.

“We will set out next steps in due course.”

  • Ms Jenkyns’ online petition is at

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