It’s not surprising that a party that has a ‘fantastic’ hatred for foxes that Boggis, Bunce and Bean would be proud of, is winding down even remotely progressive legislation on general animal welfare. The Animal Welfare Bill or Kept Animals Bill, written in uninspiring and long winded political prose, was : “A Bill to make provision about the welfare of certain kept animals that are in, imported into, or exported from Great Britain.” According to the UK Parliament. 

The five issues addressed by the Bill are:

  • Keeping primates as pets
  • Dogs attacking or worrying livestock
  • Export of livestock
  • Importation of dogs, cats and ferrets
  • Zoos

Here’s the funny part though: The Bill was originally aimed at addressing commitments made in the Conservative Party 2019 Manifesto .In other words it’s another massive political own goal from a party that has been living on borrowed time ever since it won its ‘stoking’ December mandate that year. 

In fact it’s a decision so insidious and unwarranted it’s even stirred disapproval in conservative cul de sacs such as the The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (Cawf), made up of influential Tory patrons including Carrie Johnson and Michael Gove. These two are not exactly filled to the brim with the milk of human kindness when you take their connections into account. 

Lorraine Platt, co-founder of the group, said: “Cawf is disappointed by the statement delivered today. We believe this represents a missed opportunity to further enhance the welfare and protection of animals across the United Kingdom. The Kept Animals Bill is strongly supported by MPs, NGOs, charities, and the public alike. Its provisions, which include ending live animal exports for fattening and slaughter, and tackling puppy smuggling, resonate with the public’s priorities and deliver critical Conservative manifesto commitments.”

She adds that Almost 14 million people voted for the Tories on the basis of this issue, as the party ‘promised to deliver for animals’. Turns out it was a false promise and these voters look a little silly now. It’s almost as if first past the post makes politics a pure numbers game and a petri dish for growing and killing policies.  It wasn’t even long ago that the continuation of this bill was promised by prime minister, Rishi Sunak, in 2022 during his leadership campaign. 

In 2019, the Boris Johnson government had promised a revamp of animal welfare laws in the UK, using so-called “Brexit freedoms” to ban foie gras and fur imports, as well as passing the Kept Animals Bill. In 2023 the government have CTRL, ALT, DELTED animal rights legislation and have Anne Widecombe telling us we shouldn’t even make cheese sandwiches. Too poor? Just don’t eat! ‘Sovereignty’ it seems has clearly paid off in spades. 

“What does the fox say? Glad they ditched that woke bill I hope, can’t stand bitter prey!”

The news has understandably pissed off some of the biggest animal rights charities and activist campaigning groups.    

British Veterinary Association President Malcolm Morley said: “News that the Kept Animals Bill will not progress through parliament is extremely disappointing. This crucial legislation, and the package of measures it contained, would have prevented the immeasurable suffering of thousands of animals, by tackling puppy smuggling, the importation of dogs with cropped ears, live animal exports and the keeping of primates as pets.

“However, the Government has today committed to taking forward some of these individual measures. These are important animal welfare issues which both the veterinary profession and the public want to see resolved, and we will continue to lobby the Government to ensure they are enacted in law.”

PETA Vice President of Programmes Elisa Allen, said : “By scrapping this long-promised, widely popular piece of pro-animal legislation, the government has shown itself to be utterly callous. Animals raised for their flesh already suffer tremendously – the absolute least the government could do is spare them the unnecessary trauma of an arduous journey overseas before they’re killed, which is what the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill would have done.

She added: “The frightened animals who are subjected to live export urgently need help, and PETA and other animal protection groups will push for this vital legislation to be delivered via a private members’ bill.”

What have we learned from all this? Not even a BLUE PASSPORT could save Larry if Number Ten were fed up with his obvious disdain for each and every member of staff.