Carrie Johnson is concerned that her husband Boris’s proposal to prohibit puppy smuggling has been secretly shelved despite his campaign promise.
Long-sought-after by Mrs. Johnson, the Animal Welfare Bill was scheduled to restart its passage through Parliament in September, but no date has been set and government sources have suggested that it is unlikely to be brought back soon.
Yesterday, the Conservative Animal Welfare Forum (CAWF), whose patron is Mrs. Johnson, expressed concern that the bill had been abandoned. In addition, it prohibits the export of live animals for slaughter, as well as the fattening and keeping of primates as pets, a movement supported by celebrities such as Stephen Fry.
The measure would fulfill Mr. Johnson’s 2019 campaign objectives and a vow made by Mr. Sunak during the leadership election this summer. It would also take advantage of Brexit liberties, since the UK could not prohibit the export of live animals owing to EU rules governing the free movement of commodities.
Carrie Johnson (shown with her dog Dilyn) is concerned that her husband Boris’s legislation to prevent puppy smuggling has been quietly postponed.
The bill has been delayed for more than a year, and George Eustice, the former Environment Secretary who presented it, stated that it enjoyed near-universal popular support. The Prime Minister must uphold his leadership commitment and for the bill’s passage to restart.
Lorraine Platt, co-founder of the CAWF, described the delay as “disheartening and aggravating.” She continued, “We are worried that the Bill would be lost.” It is imperative that it is not abandoned, as doing so would undermine public confidence in campaign pledges.’
Paula Boyden, director of veterinary services at Dogs Trust, stated, “We have spent eight years uncovering the horrific practice of puppy smuggling.”
Our investigations have found that smugglers continue to import thousands of underage pups and pregnant dogs, sometimes in the most deplorable conditions and without meeting their requirements.
Sources indicated that a decision on the Bill was approaching and cautioned that it hung in the balance due to worries about pushing uncooperative Conservative lawmakers to adopt tough legislation. This spring, it was in limbo due to disagreements on how to address the problem of religious animal killing.
The Bill, which has widespread political support, was free to continue its passage in September after an agreement to hold a request for evidence on broader slaughterhouse reform.
There have long been concerns over the export of British cattle to nations such as Lebanon, which allegedly have lax animal care rules.
It is not uncommon, according to a government source, for bills to be carried over from one legislative session to the next.
According to the source, Ministers have collaborated with MPs, peers, and partners to ensure that changes are successful.