First and foremost, I believe animals are sentient beings who can feel pain and suffering, and I would like to reassure you that strong action is being taken to reduce their risk of harm.
I am pleased that the Government is committed to further strengthening our world-leading animal welfare standards and I understand that my Ministerial colleagues are in the process of refining proposals for the manifesto commitment on the introduction of laws on animal sentience and will be publishing further detail in the coming weeks. I know that Ministers are also still considering the best legislative vehicle to bring forward these reforms in the near future and are engaging with interested organisations and other Government departments as necessary.
In the meantime, the Government’s policies on animal welfare continue to be driven by its recognition that animals are sentient beings. I believe that this commitment to the protection of animal welfare is demonstrated by my Ministerial colleagues continued support for the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill which passed its second reading in the House of Commons recently.
Having left the EU, the UK will now have the opportunity to do even more. I was pleased to have been elected on a manifesto pledge to end excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening, and a consultation has now been launched on proposals to deliver this commitment. Ministers will also be consulting in the near future on the commitment to ban primates as pets, as well on implementing the Ivory Act. They have already starting consulting on mandatory cat microchipping I am also encouraged that this Government has committed to ban imports from trophy hunting of endangered animals.