New Clause 27 - Rearing of non-native game birds: review and consultation

Part of Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 18 Tachwedd 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:30, 18 Tachwedd 2021

I know you do, Mr Davies. You are quite right—I do not know about the hon. Member for Cambridge.

As we are coming to the end of these proceedings—I hope, pleasurable though they have been—it is right that we accept that, yes, there is a lot to do in the area of animal welfare, but, yes, a lot is being done. We should take this opportunity to step back and to think of the poor people working in the animal welfare team in DEFRA, who are doing all this work, as well as those in the Public Gallery from the Bill team and those offline who drafted the Bill. Yes, animal welfare legislation is difficult. It requires evidence and it requires us to work out what would help and where, and what can be done in other ways through guidance or whatever.

Turning to the new clause, we are already reviewing how to improve game bird welfare, including examining the evidence on the use of cages for breeding pheasants and partridges. As the hon. Member for Cambridge said, we have a statutory code, in section 6 of which are set out the standards, including that enriched cages are a minimum. Breaches of the code may be used in a prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It is right that we review the situation periodically, and the plan is to do just that. We already have the power to make regulations in this area when we have the scientific evidence to inform future policy. I therefore ask that the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the new clause.