The UK Rules

HomeUK NewsHealth and Safety › Animal Action Plan

Action Plan for Animal Welfare

Defra has published further details about its aims and ambitions for the future wellbeing of family pets and farm animals in the United Kingdom.

The focal point of the new 'Action Plan for Animal Welfare' will be to improve the conservation of animals in this country and overseas.

Taking Action on Animal Welfare in the UK

The hashtag #ActionForAnimals sets the tone for the government's new measures protecting the welfare of animals across five key areas:

The result of a referendum question held on Thursday 23rd of June 2016 in the United Kingdom was to leave the European Union.

Doing so allows the UK to use new freedoms in ways not previously available. One of them is strengthening the standards of animal welfare by reinforcing its position as a champion in animal rights.

The key takeaways?

The Environment Secretary (Mr. George Eustice) launched the Action Plan for Animal Welfare on the 12th of May 2021.

It builds on world leading standards and recognises animals as sentient beings (aware of feelings and sensations) in British law.

Furthermore, it commits the United Kingdom to a range of new welfare measures that better protect family pets, wild animals, and livestock (farm animals regarded as assets).

Reforms in the Animal Welfare Action Plan

Note: A new Animal Sentience Bill (introduced to Parliament on the 13th of May 2021) places animal welfare at the centre of domestic policies.

Defra publishes new Action Plan for Animal Welfare in the United Kingdom.The #ActionForAnimals programme will improve pet welfare by:

Greater protection for wild animals will be reached by:

Some of the ways the United Kingdom will help to protect vulnerable animals abroad include:

Major improvements in the general welfare of farmed animals will enter domestic policy making, by:

This decade has already seen the government introduce a batch of measures to ensure the care and protection that animals deserve. They include:

Animals (Penalty Notices) Bill

An extended crackdown on the perpetrators of offences committed against animals means they could be on the wrong end of a £5,000 fine.

As such, new legislation signals tougher prison sentences for animal cruelty (e.g. for the most severe incidents of animal health and welfare offences).

Thus, authorities can issue on-the-spot fines as penalties for individuals as well as anyone who 'cruelly' mistreats pets, animal livestock, or zoo animals.

Note: The introduction of the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill aims to crack down on inhumane traps that cause a lot of suffering and a slow painful death (e.g. glue traps).

Defra Publishes New Action Plan for Animal Welfare in the UK and Overseas