Guernsey Press

Animal welfare is a high priority

IMPROVEMENTS to the island’s animal welfare legislation have been broadly welcomed but the response has been fairly muted, given that they haven’t been introduced with the fanfare – or the umbrage – that is usually associated with animal cruelty in the island.


Guernsey is truly an island of animal lovers, and when a previous update to animal welfare laws was held up for almost 10 years a decade ago, it ended up with a petition signed by one in 10 of us calling for overdue action.

It should be heartening that the latest update came rather out of the blue. It wasn’t provoked by local incidents, but more by updates in science and in international law and conventions.

Quite a lot of the proposals merely enshrine in law practices which are already outdated and frowned upon, where most believe that they are already outlawed, such as snares and glue traps.

But provisions to update enforcement powers are clearly required and welcomed.

As the States Vet says, Guernsey does not want to be seen to fall behind other jurisdictions and then it is necessary for the authorities to be able to take enforcement action where appropriate.

The last major overhaul of animal welfare laws started in 2003, were approved by politicians in 2008, and finally came into effect in 2012. This time, the proposals are timely, proactive and appropriate.