Animal Welfare Record (September 2023)

Our Animal Welfare Record of Delivery Since 2010

We are a nation of animal lovers, and animal welfare has been a priority for the Government since 2010. Our record means the UK is a world leader on animal welfare: the UK is the highest ranked G7 nation on the Animal Protection Index, and indeed joint highest in the world.

Since 2010, we have:

  • Recognised animal sentience in law and launched the Committee which will advise government on how policy decisions should take account of animal welfare.
  • Ramped up enforcement with:
    • Increased maximum sentences for animal cruelty from six months to five years’ imprisonment.
    • Launched the consultation on financial penalty notice powers of up to £5,000 in addition to existing penalties under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
    • New protections for service animals with ‘Finn’s Law’.
  • Raised farm animal welfare:
    • Launched the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with new annual vet visits and grants.
    • Implemented a revised welfare at slaughter regime and introduced CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
    • Banned traditional battery cages for laying hens, permitted beak trimming via only infra-red technology.  
    • Raised standards for meat chickens.  
  • Significantly enhanced companion animal welfare:
    • Revamped the local authority licensing regime for commercial pet services including selling, dog breeding, boarding, animal displays.
    • Banned the third party puppy and kitten sales with Lucy’s Law.
    • Made microchipping compulsory for cats and dogs.
    • Introduced offences for horse fly-grazing and abandonment.
    • Introduced new community order powers to address dog issues.
  • Provided valuable new protections for wild animals:
    • Banned wild animals in travelling circuses.
    • Passed the Ivory Act, including one of the toughest bans on elephant ivory sales in the world, and earlier this week extended it to five further species.
    • Gave the police additional powers to tackle hare coursing.
    • Banned glue traps.
    • Supported the Private Members’ Bill which passed in this session banning trade in detached shark fins.
    • Supported the Private Members’ Bill currently before Parliament banning the import of hunting trophies.
    • Supported the Private Members’ Bill currently before Parliament banning the advertising and offering for sale here of unacceptably low animal welfare activities abroad.
    • Launched the consultation to ban the keeping of primates as pets.

Yours Sincerely,


Sally-Ann Hart MP.