The Queen’s Speech 2022: Government Breaks Promise to Protect Animals
The Queen’s Speech 2022 outlined the government legislative agenda – and, disappointingly, crucial animal welfare commitments were absent. This means that the promises made by the government in 2021 – “to protect animals by having and promoting the highest standards of animal welfare” – have been broken.
The abandoned Animals Abroad Bill would finally have closed our borders to foie gras and fur. The production of these items is so cruel it is illegal in the UK – and it should be illegal to sell them here, too. There was also no mention of hunting trophies or whether the much-anticipated and long-promised ban on them would be implemented.
Not only has the government backtracked on the promises made in its manifesto, perhaps worse still, it has reversed progress for animals by proposing a bill that would permit the use of gene-edited animals on farms – something that has been banned in the UK until now because of the inherent dangers it can pose.
Queen’s Speech Disregards Public Opinion
The Animals Abroad Bill has received strong support from a coalition of 38 animal protection organisations as well as the public.
A recent Focaldata poll commissioned by Humane Society International/UK revealed that 72% of voters would like to see the UK government pass more laws designed to improve animal welfare and protect animals from cruelty. More specifically, 77% agreed that the UK government should ban the import of animal-derived products, such as fur, for which the farming and production methods are banned in the UK.
The government’s abandonment of promised animal welfare laws is a betrayal of animals, who need protection now more than ever, and it shows complete disregard for public opinion.
A Betrayal of Animals
The Animals Abroad Bill was meant to end the UK’s involvement in atrocities such as fur and foie gras.
These vile products are derived from abuse so disturbing that it’s illegal to produce them in the UK. Yet our borders are still open to them – a contradiction that gives companies the green light to profit from this cruelty.
To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed several times a day until their livers become diseased and swell to around 10 times their natural size. Imagine being forced to eat 20 kilograms of pasta each day – that’s the human equivalent of the nearly 2 kilograms of food that’s typically forced down these birds’ throats every single day.
Before their fur is imported and sold, foxes, rabbits, minks, and other animals spend their entire lives confined to filthy cages. Many animals on fur farms are driven insane by intense confinement and mutilate themselves, chewing on their own legs or tails. At the end of their short lives, they are poisoned, gassed, electrocuted, or drowned.
Urge the Government Not to Betray Animals
It is vital that we move forward and continue to campaign for stronger legislation to protect animals. As the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has stated, “The way we treat animals reflects our values and the kind of people we are.”
Tell the government to ban imports of foie gras, fur, and hunting trophies – send it a message now!