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RSPCA press statement on Queen’s Speech

16 October 2019, at 4:08pm

“We are very encouraged to hear the Government’s commitment to initiatives that enhance animal welfare. Research shows that eight out of 10 British people (81 percent) believe that animal welfare laws should be maintained or strengthened post-Brexit.

“When the long-awaited increase in maximum sentencing to five years for animal cruelty finally becomes law it will be a really significant moment. For too long acts of gross cruelty and mistreatment have not been met with sentences which reflect the severity of the crime.

“We are also very relieved that the recognition of animal sentience will be enshrined in law so that their welfare will be taken into account when policies are being made. However we would have liked the Government to have gone further and introduced an animal welfare commissioner to give real teeth to this commitment.

“The RSPCA also welcomes the consultation to improve conditions during the long distance transportation of farm animals. We have long argued that the welfare of animals transported over long distances is severely compromised, and believe that our current laws do not go far enough to protect them.

“In addition, we have been calling for a complete ban on the keeping and trade of primates as pets, so we very much look forward to contributing evidence on this issue. It’s also good to see that there will be a consultation on banning the import and export of trophies from the hunting of endangered animals which is an issue of real public concern.”