The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging the government to put the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill high on the agenda for the next parliamentary session.

The association is disappointed that the bill, which aims to improve welfare standards through a wide range of measures for pets, farmed and kept wild animals, "faces a further wait to become a reality".

“The Kept Animals Bill is a crucial and long-awaited piece of legislation that promises to address many of what our members have recognised as the most pressing animal health and welfare issues of our times," said BVA president Justine Shotton.

"BVA urges the government to put this vital legislation high on the agenda and give it the final push it needs to get over the line as early as possible in the next parliamentary session."

The bill is currently passing through the House of Commons; it must go through the House of Lords before reaching the final two stages.

It began this process on June 8, 2021.

Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill

The new bill is to offer solutions regarding animal welfare for a range of animals. For example, it aims to crack down on puppy smuggling; ban keeping primates as pets; and improve zoo regulations.

Regarding farm animals, it aims to give new powers to the police to provide greater protection to livestock from dangerous and out of control dogs; and ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening.

The UK would become the first country in Europe to impose the latter.

"The Kept Animals Bill will bring in some of the world’s highest and strongest protections for pets, livestock and kept wild animals," said Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice, previously.