Animals (Penalty Notices) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:49 am on 4th February 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford 9:49 am, 4th February 2022

My hon. Friend makes a really important point, because we need to understand the purpose of this Bill. At present, enforcing breaches of animal welfare laws means having to prosecute, so it takes a long time, and involves going to court and all those processes. However, many offences are very minor—mistakes that individuals may have made inadvertently—so, a bit like a parking ticket, the penalty notices are a way of informing people, when they have not done something very serious, that they need to do things better in future. The Bill will give the enforcement authorities greater powers to deal with minor offences speedily, rather than having to go through long processes. Of course, some of those cases will never be prosecuted, because in effect time runs out; there is not enough time to deal with the issue. This Bill will be really effective as a way of dealing with such cases quickly. That is really the nub of the Bill; it will increase the powers in animal welfare laws and make them a lot more effective. I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention, and hope I have explained the background clearly to her.

This Bill will fundamentally reform how we enforce animal welfare, biosecurity and welfare across farmed and kept animals in England. I hope other parts of the United Kingdom will follow suit when this Bill becomes legislation. I believe it will improve this country’s response to offences and strengthen our position as a world leader in the welfare of animals, with whom we are privileged to share this planet. I sincerely hope that we will see it placed on the statute book in the very near future. This is a good Bill that will improve the lives of animals and guide the people of this nation towards better protection and welfare of the animals we all care so much about, and I commend it to the House.