Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill

Ian Paisley Excerpts
Monday 5th December 2022

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Elliot Colburn Portrait Elliot Colburn
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I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention and of course he is absolutely right; I have no qualms in saying that the list of legislation is quite impressive, with huge achievements that I am very proud of the Government for undertaking. However, the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill would be one of the greatest leaps forward in animal welfare that this country has seen in years. It enjoys cross-party support and was part of our election manifesto.

I look forward to hearing the Minister’s update on the progress of the Bill and to hearing him outline what steps his Department is taking to iron out any of the issues that may have arisen throughout the consultation phases, so that we can get the Bill moving again and get it on to the statute book.

Ian Paisley Portrait Ian Paisley (North Antrim) (DUP)
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I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on how he has introduced the debate. Before he comes to the end of his peroration, may I say to him that one of the most significant threats to animal welfare in Northern Ireland, believe it or not, is the Northern Ireland protocol? As of the middle of this month, 50% of pharmaceutical products for animals will no longer be available in Northern Ireland, both for on-farm animals and domestic pets. That threat must be urgently addressed by His Majesty’s Government before our animals in Northern Ireland are placed in any further danger.

Elliot Colburn Portrait Elliot Colburn
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I am grateful to the hon. Member for that intervention. Not that long ago, I led a debate on behalf of the Petitions Committee on invoking article 16 and it became very clear from the research that we did before the debate that there was a significant impact on animals as a result of the protocol, so I hope that the Minister can also update the House about discussions with EU counterparts on the effect of the protocol on animals.

I also congratulate the hon. Member on getting an intervention in as I was about to finish my speech. To reiterate, I would be very grateful if the Minister could provide the reassurances and updates that so many people have turned up to Westminster Hall today to hear, so that we can get the Bill moving again, get it into law and cement the UK’s reputation as a world leader on animal welfare.