Angling excluded from Animal Welfare Bill

The Animal Welfare Bill has expressly excluded angling from its cruelty and welfare clauses. The result follows lobbying by representative organisations and individuals within the sport.

The Bill states that anything which occurs in the normal course of fishing, including commercial fishing and angling, is exempted entirely from the Bill. However, all fish for which a person is responsible - such as ornamental fish and farmed fish - will be protected by both cruelty offences and the duty to ensure the welfare of the fish.

Welcoming the news, The Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT),which had actively lobbied to having angling excluded from the Bill, said: "These provisions vindicate the intense lobbying undertaken by FACT members on behalf of angling during the preparation of the Bill, including the presentation of detailed oral evidence before the House of Commons Animal Welfare Select Committee. The outcome is a common sense approach to angling and clearly signifies the Government’s intention that nothing in the Bill will jeopardise the social, economic and environmental benefits derived from the sport. FACT will be continuing to monitor secondary legislation as part of its remit to promote and protect the sport."

Meanwhile, Paul Knight, Director of The Salmon and Trout Association, said: "We are delighted that the Bill has taken a common sense approach to angling, and that nothing is included which could jeopardise the social, economic or environmental benefits derived from the sport.  However, we note the enabling nature of the Bill, and so there will be a need to monitor secondary legislation to ensure that angling remains safe from unnecessary future regulation."

Details of the Animal Welfare Bill can be found on the Defra web site at

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