UK to ban live animal exports for slaughter as part of welfare plan

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Sheep feed in a field on a farm near Appleby in Cumbria, Britain January 9 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday it would ban the live export of animals for slaughter and fattening, explore prohibiting the sale of foie gras and formally recognise animals as sentient beings as part of a post-Brexit welfare plan.

The government said it would strengthen standards as it gains greater powers since leaving the European Union and will introduce the new 'Animal Sentience Bill' to parliament on Thursday.

Other measures include the compulsory microchipping of cats, tackling puppy smuggling and establishing a taskforce to crack down on theft as the pandemic saw thieves steal pets to extract money as some locked-down Britons sought animal companionship.

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Additional proposals include looking into a ban on the importing of hunting trophies from endangered animals, ending the import and export of detached shark fins and boosting the welfare of farm animals as they are transported.

"We are a nation of animal lovers and were the first country in the world to pass animal welfare laws," said environment minister George Eustice.

“As an independent nation we are now able to go further than ever to build on our excellent track record.”

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Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by Elizabeth Piper

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