NEWS

STAE PROUD TO LEAD FOR THE CHARITY SECTOR IN CO-ORDINATING EVIDENCE OF ABUSE AND PRESSING GOVT TO FINALLY IMPLEMENT GLOBALLY-IMPORTANT LOW-WELFARE ACT

Dear Secretary of State  cc Lord Douglas-Miller, Defra, Angela Richardson MP and Lord Black of Brentwood

I am writing on behalf of a large coalition of organisations and individuals (the ‘Low-Welfare Act Coalition’) to urge you to develop and implement the activity regulations that are required to give effect to the Animals (Low Welfare Activities Abroad) Act without delay.

As you will be aware, the Act received Royal Assent over seven months ago, on 18 September 2023. This important piece of legislation makes it unlawful to sell or advertise access to activities which involve a vertebrate animal, take place outside the United Kingdom, and are of a description proscribed for that part of the United Kingdom by activity regulations made by the appropriate national authority. The Act commands enormous public support, and the support of Parliament through which it passed without any amendments or divisions.

In order to give effect to the Act you are charged, as Secretary of State, with bringing forward the activity regulations which will specify those activities that will be proscribed under the Act.

However, in spite of various communications with yourself, your officials, and many written and oral Parliamentary questions in both Houses, it appears that there has thus far been no progress towards the development of the required activity regulations.

In the absence of any government activity, a large number of animal protection organisations and individuals have collaborated to produce the attached document. It represents the collective expertise of those parties across many disciplines and animal species, operating in the UK and in the range states of many of the species referred to therein.

The purpose of the document is to assist you in making a rapid start on the development of activity regulations, to engage with the process in compliance with your constitutional obligations, and to consult with the animal welfare sector and other stakeholders in the hope that the process leading to implementation of activity regulations can commence without further delay.

The submissions and evidence contained in this document are substantial and detailed. They are not exhaustive. However, in the absence of any guidance or directions from your government to date, they are intended as a start. They will be added to as needed as the process develops. Substantial photographic and video archives and witness testimony will further support the extensive evidence base already provided to you.

The attached document should be read in conjunction with the preliminary list of suggested proscribed activities which I emailed to your officials on behalf of the Coalition on 12 February 2024, and which is also attached. We have thus far not received any acknowledgement of this earlier submission from you or your officials.

We urge you to act without delay. Numerous species – many endangered and all highly vulnerable – rely upon swift action to bring the Animals (Low Welfare Activities Abroad) Act into effect.

Thank you in anticipation of your prompt attention to this important matter. We remain ready to engage with you and your officials to assist with the process.

Yours sincerely,

Duncan McNair
CEO, Save The Asian Elephants and for the Low-Welfare Act Coalition

The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023

MAJOR NEW LAW FOR ANIMALS

A guide to the Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023.