Conservative MP’s refuse to back Bill to stop pet theft, smuggling and live animal exports.

22 Jun 2023

On Wednesday 21st June, the opposition attempted to force the government to bring back the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. Last month, the Government broke their manifesto promise to crack down on pet theft, puppy smuggling and banning live animal exports. 

The Liberal Democrats re-tabled the Government puppy smuggling bill and called on Conservative MPs to keep their promise, but they have refused. 

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough did not vote on the Bill despite expressing his disappointment that the Government dropped the Bill earlier this year. 

Now Conservative MPs, including Andrew Jones, refused to back a motion to bring the bill back within the next month and instead will launch yet another consultation. 

Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrats have criticised this move, accusing the government of breaking another manifesto pledge, turning their back on puppies and allowing traffickers to exploit the pet market. 

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Tom Gordon said:

“The Conservative party promised to deliver this Bill in their election manifesto, and the Government even drafted the wording of the new law.

“It is shameful that Andrew Jones and this Conservatives Government have once again broken their promise to protect animals from cruel smuggling gangs. 

“Residents of Harrogate & Knaresborough tell me that they are tired of having an MP who puts the Conservative Party before local people. 

“Only a month ago Andrew Jones expressed disappointment that this Bill which would protect animals was dropped, yet he failed to vote to bring this Bill back. 

“This Conservative Government has left pet owners, animal welfare charities and residents of Harrogate and Knaresborough rightfully angry.

“The Liberal Democrats want to see greater protections for puppies, with criminals who target our beloved pets handed harsher punishments.”


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