Part of Animals (Penalty Notices) Bill - Third Reading – in the House of Lords at 10:28 am on 1st April 2022.

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Photo of The Earl of Shrewsbury The Earl of Shrewsbury Conservative 10:28 am, 1st April 2022

My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Randall of Uxbridge, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass. I declare my interest as a member of the National Farmers’ Union.

I know that my noble friend Lord Randall of Uxbridge was delighted to be asked to sponsor this important Bill by my honourable friend the Member for Romford in the other place. I give great credit to my honourable friend for introducing the Bill and for skilfully steering it through all its stages in the other place. I also take the opportunity to thank the Minister for his support of this Bill in your Lordships’ House. I also thank my honourable friends the Member for Bury St Edmunds and the Member for Banbury for their valuable support in the other place.

As your Lordships will be aware, this Bill will enable the introduction of penalty notices for existing offences relating to animal health, welfare, biosecurity and products, with a maximum fine of £5,000. The Second Reading debate showed that the Bill was supported from all sides of this House, and I am sure all noble Lords will agree that it is reassuring that there are matters on which we can all wholeheartedly agree—such as the one before us today on improving protections for the animals that we keep.

I congratulate the Government on their continued support for this Bill; their dedication to improving the lives of animals is commendable. I also take this opportunity to thank noble Lords for their considered and important contributions. I am grateful to noble Lords for being considerate of the time constraints attached to Private Members’ Bills in general, and I am delighted that no amendments were tabled.

I also extend my thanks to those long-standing advocates for animals outside Parliament who have supported the Bill. They include many charities and other organisations, such as the National Farmers’ Union, the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Cats Protection, the Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and World Horse Welfare. I commend them for supporting this Bill and the benefits it will provide.

Finally, I extend my thanks to the civil servants in Defra and the Whips’ Office for getting us to this point just before this parliamentary Session draws to a close. Given this Government’s commitment to strengthening animal health and welfare, I am sure that this will be one of many measures that we will see.