U.K. cruelty act update introduced

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2005:

LONDON–British junior environment
minister and minister for animal welfare Ben
Bradshaw on October 14, 2005 introduced a long
awaited new draft Animal Welfare Bill, which if
passed by Parliament would be the first major
update of the U.K. anti-cruelty statute since
Summarized Amanda Brown of The
Independent, “The bill introduces a duty on
those responsible for animals to do all that is
reasonable to ensure the welfare of the creatures
in their care–a duty which for the first time
applies to non-domestic animals. The bill
simplifies animal welfare legislation by bringing
more than 20 pieces of legislation into one,
strengthening penalties and eliminating
loopholes. Those causing unnecessary suffering
to an animal will face up to 51 weeks in prison,
a fine of up to £20,000 or both.”

Added Guardian political correspondent
Matthew Tempest, “The bill applies to all
vertebrates owned by people, except farmed
animals and animals used for scientific
The draft animal welfare bill was lauded
by Royal SPCA director general Jackie Ballard,
herself a former Member of Parlia-ment for the
Liberal Democratic Party, but Daily Telegraph
environment editor Charles Clover fretted that,
“Keeping wild animals in circuses, docking the
tails of dogs and some aspects of keeping game
birds could be ended by stealth.”

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