UK Action Plan for Animal Welfare

The United Kingdom recently unveiled an Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

Key Features of the Plan

  • An Expert Committee on Animal Sentience will report on Government decisions. Sentience is the capacity to be aware of sensations and feelings.
  • The plan will make sure that the animal welfare standards in the country are not compromised.
  • It will increase animal welfare for farm animals. This is to be done by ending export of live animals.
  • It also focuses on puppy smuggling and crack down on pet theft. This is because, the plan recognises the fact that how important the pets and sporting animals are to people’s lives.
  • The plan will increase protections for wild animals. This is to be achieved by keeping primates as pets, enhance their conservation and improve standards in Zoos.

About the Plan

  • The plan is in line with the goals of Animal Welfare and Welfare Common Framework. The framework is being developed by the UK Government.
  • Tougher penalties for animal cruelty are to come into force as the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill has recently received Royal Assent.
  • An independent trading policy is to play an integral part. Under the plan, the UK Government is to ban the import and export of detached shark fins.
  • The plan aims to make UK a global example on animal welfare. This will make sure the businesses involving animals to promote tourism does not increase. For instance, Asian elephants are subjected to cruel and brutal training practices to ensure obedience.

Ivory Act

The UK is to implement Ivory Act in 2021 to ban the trade on elephant ivory.

Other key features of the plan

  • A task force is to be set up to control pet theft.
  • Compulsory Cat microchipping is to be introduced to ensure that the lost or stolen cats can be reunited with their owners.
  • The remote controlled electronic training collars are to be banned.
  • Bring in legislation to crack down illegal practice of horse coursing.
  • Restrict the use of glue traps.


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