Expectation that the Government will bring forward a new Animal Welfare Bill which could ban live exports has been growing over the past week.
Last month, Ministers were slammed for whipping MPs to vote against an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have forced the Government to pay regard to animal welfare in formulating policy.
Under current UK law, owners of animals are responsible for their welfare, but there is no duty on the state to consider animal welfare in policy making.
Ministers at the time claimed the amendment was voted down because it was ‘faulty’, and during last week’s Defra Questions, Mr Gove said he wanted to ‘go further than existing EU law does in the protection of animal welfare.’
“There is a better legislative vehicle and we will make an announcement about this next week”, he added.
Richmond Park MP and keen supporter of Gove’s ‘Green Brexit’ Zac Goldsmith has since told the BBC it is ‘logical’ to expect the Government to bring forward an Animal Welfare Bill.
“We are one of the countries in the world with the highest animal welfare standards and we can be very proud of this, but there are lots and lots of holes we need to address”, he said.
“As we leave the EU, we can ban the live export of animals, something campaigners have been asking for for years.”
“I have counted up 14 or 15 things which would absolutely have to be in the Bill to make it comprehensive, and if they are not there, someone is going to try to fill those gaps.
“Either the Government then loses vote after vote or Conservative MPs trying to be helpful to Government will find themselves being asked to vote against animal welfare initiatives which most people believe in, and that is not a good look for the party.
“Ministers really need to understand there is a huge demand for us to get this right, and if it means delaying it for a couple of months, so be it, but come up with something good.”