United Kingdom

Animal laws 'are nothing to do with Carrie Symonds'

A raft of proposals aimed at improving the lives of animals was introduced yesterday.

Measures ranged from bans on pet monkeys to outlawing foie gras.

But claims that the PM's fiancee Carrie Symonds was behind them were dismissed as 'mischief making'.

Miss Symonds has spoken passionately of her commitment to improving the lives of animals.

But environment minister Lord Goldsmith said the idea that she was the driving force behind the Bill was wrong.

Carrie Symonds (pictured) has spoken passionately of her commitment to improving the lives of animals

Environment minister Lord Goldsmith (pictured) said the idea that she was the driving force behind the Bill was wrong

He said: 'I can understand why those things are said, but it's mischief-making.

'I was pretty much the loudest voice on animal welfare issues for nearly ten years on the back benches. And now as animal welfare minister, I'm able to make this stuff happen.'

One issue being looked at is the stunning of animals before slaughter.

The practice could put ministers on a collision course with faith groups as under interpretations of Islam and Judaism, animals slaughtered when they have been stunned are not considered halal or kosher.

Ministers will also seek to outlaw keeping primates as pets. Other measures include bans on electric-shock training dog collars, adverts for elephant rides abroad and the use of glue traps to catch rats and mice.

The Government is also 'exploring' banning the sale and importation of foie gras and a law that recognises animals are 'sentient' – able to experience pleasure and pain.

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