MPs Make Effort to Revive Animal Welfare Measures

PA Media

   Originally part of the Kept Animals Bill, these two measures faced a setback as the government dropped the bill due to concerns that it might lead to a contentious vote on hunting—a deeply divisive issue within the Conservative Party.

In response, on Wednesday, Ms. Saxby proposed a Private Members' Bill (PMB) aimed at limiting the import of dogs, cats, and ferrets. Simultaneously, Ms. Firth introduced a PMB with the specific objective of making the abduction of common pets such as cats, dogs, and others a criminal offense.

It's important to note that PMBs often face challenges in becoming law without government support, as they receive less dedicated time compared to government business.

Campaigners inflated two giant animal figures to protest the slow progress of the Hunting Trophies Bill

   The government is facing pressure to allocate time for new legislation in order to fulfill a manifesto commitment, specifically to ban the import of hunting trophies into Great Britain. This move is in response to the annual practice where UK hunters travel abroad, particularly to southern Africa, paying significant sums to legally hunt animals like lions and elephants. Current regulations allow them to bring trophies, such as stuffed heads or horns, back to the UK with the appropriate paperwork.

While these measures were anticipated in government legislation, ministers supported a Private Members' Bill (PMB) introduced by Conservative MP Henry Smith during the last parliamentary session. Despite passing comfortably in the Commons, the bill ran out of time due to opposition in the House of Lords.

The allocation of time for PMBs is determined by a lottery system, with 20 MPs randomly selected for a chance to debate their bills on one of seven designated Fridays. The top seven MPs in the lottery gain priority for these debating slots.

Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central, secured the top spot in the ballot, granting her first priority. Her PMB aims to level the competitive field in the banking sector by modernizing rules that currently restrict the lending abilities of building societies.