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League praises new animal welfare legislation

8 November 2006

The League Against Cruel Sports has commended new protections for animals in England and Wales. The campaigning organisation identifies the new Animal Welfare Act, along with the Hunting Act of 2004, as being examples of how new legislation is reflecting the animal welfare concerns of the British public.

The Animal Welfare Act received Royal Assent on 8 November 2006. It will introduce important changes to the law when it comes into force in early 2007. A significant development is the new legal obligation requiring those responsible for animals to take reasonable steps to meet their needs.

Mike Hobday of the League says: “The Animal Welfare Bill provides important new protection for animals, and we would like to see this built on with regulations under the Act for other animals such as greyhounds, measures such as minimum standards established in track layout and maintenance, provision of kennels, identification and tracking of greyhounds, the independence of vets at tracks and, most importantly, welfare protection for retired racing dogs. The League also wants to see regulations protecting reared gamebirds from overcrowding and mutilation.”

In many cases, previous legislation only allowed for prosecutions once an animal had already suffered cruelty.