Lib Dems slam Government U-turn on Kept Animals Bill: Leaving the door open for organised crime to profit on puppy misery.

30 May 2023

International organised crime will continue to profit from animal suffering as the Government dropped the Kept Animals BIlls last week (25th May 2023). The Bill would have restricted the keeping of primates as pets and tightened zoo licensing requirements, as well as cracked down on puppy smuggling. This is just the latest Conservative election promise to have been abandoned. 

Commenting on the U-turn, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Harrogate & Knaresborough, Tom Gordon said:

“We are a nation of animal lovers, and we were one of the first countries to bring forward animal welfare laws back as far as the 19th century. 

"This is just the latest in a string of broken election promises from the Conservatives and will local people will undoubtedly be outraged.

“Many illegally imported dogs have suffered terribly - people buy beloved family pets without knowing the trauma they have already suffered. 

"But it’s clear from the latest Conservative U-turn that they have dropped the ball, the Kept Animals Bill was an opportunity for the Government to crack down on those making thousands of pounds from animal cruelty. 

“Not only that, It would have been an opportunity to prevent the spread of serious disease too.

"Time and time again when I am out knocking on doors local residents keep saying how out of touch the Conservatives are, and this is just latest reminder.”

The Kept Animals Bill would have increased the minimum age that puppies can legally be brought into the country, and restricted the import of heavily pregnant dogs. The Bill would have made provision to providing the resources for visual checks at ports, which would have played a key role in policing organised puppy smuggling. 

Not only do many illegally imported animals suffer terribly because of the way they are treated and transported, but they can also bring in very serious diseases that can affect humans - including Brucella canis and rabies.