All 1 Lord Gardiner of Kimble contributions to the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill 2019-21

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Wed 28th Apr 2021

Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Excerpts
Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Gardiner of Kimble) (Con)
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My Lords, before my noble friend Lord Randall of Uxbridge proceeds with the Bill, I will make a very brief statement about legislative consent. The Bill, which increases the maximum custodial penalty for the worst acts of animal cruelty, has enjoyed cross-party support in both Houses. It would bring both England and Wales into line with the existing sentencing regimes for animal cruelty offences in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Animal welfare is a devolved matter, meaning that the Bill is subject to the legislative consent process. The Welsh Government laid a legislative consent memorandum for the Bill before the Senedd in February, advising that they support the Bill applying to Wales.

The timing of the Senedd elections and the Queen’s Speech means that there is now insufficient time for the Senedd to consider a legislative consent Motion before the end of this Session of the UK Parliament. Letting the Bill fall at this very late stage would be a regrettable outcome for both England and Wales alike. Given the circumstances, and mindful of the support expressed for the Bill by both the Welsh Government and other parties in Wales, the UK Government have decided to maintain their support for the Bill, notwithstanding that the Senedd has yet to pass a consent Motion. In the event that the Bill receives Royal Assent tomorrow, as I would hope, the incoming Senedd would have time to provide its support for the Bill after the election period and before the Act comes into force. We believe that this represents a pragmatic solution that will deliver widely supported enhancements to welfare and protection of animals in England and Wales.


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