The Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson MP PM/the Rt. Hon George Eustice MP, Minister
at DEFRA/ the Lord Goldsmith:
17th May 2022
I write on behalf of The Animal Interfaith Alliance, an international alliance of faith groups founded in Britain concerned about the welfare of animals. Our member organisations and individual members include Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. We are all united by our common concern for animals, based on our various faiths. Our member organisations are listed here.
Our members are extremely concerned that, after repeated promises, the
Government has dropped plans to bring in a ban on imports of foie gras
and fur, and has apparently also abandoned the excellent Animals Abroad
proposed legislation. Promoting tourism which involves cruelty to
animals, amongst which, elephant riding and other intrusive practices,
has a deplorable effect on the lives of captive animals overseas and
this Government could do something to prevent it.
We are close colleagues of Duncan McNair, Chief Executive Officer of the
excellent organisation Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) and the reports
he brings back of the cruel ‘training’ to make elephants, when still
calves, submissive for exploitation are truly horrifying.
Please see www.stae.org
We contend that the Government, representing a nation of animal lovers
as we are frequently described by ministers, has a moral duty to take
We also understand, for the first time, that the Government has proposed
a Bill which would permit the use of genetically edited farm animals. We
consider this – something which had been previously banned in this
country – a dangerous step which would cause yet more suffering to
defenceless creatures we already exploit in a myriad ways.
Please could you also confirm that practices such as the live exports of
animals for slaughter, keeping primates as pets and the cruel puppy
import trade are still on course to be banned? We have been asking for
years for such legislation to be enacted, and the animals should not
have to wait any longer for you to make good your repeated promises.
You are surely aware, from the amount of correspondence all MPs receive
on the matter of animal welfare, that a large majority of British people
want to see this Government pass more laws designed to improve animal
welfare and protect animals from cruelty – not to abandon the promises
they have repeatedly made.
According to the RSPCA, 77% of voters want to see the Government ban the
importation of animal products with production methods already banned in
the UK, including fur. It is not consistent to ban the production, but
then allow companies to profit from the imports of cruelty inflicted in
Finally, in April 2022 MRP poll shows 85% want a law to ban UK adverts
for foreign tourism practices that ‘train’ elephants and other species
by severe abuse we would not countenance in this country.
A significant proportion of the electorate is out of tune with some
Government ministers. You will recall that some ministers have described
animal welfare as a ‘peripheral’ issue. They must be disregarding the
large amount of correspondence they receive, as MPs, from constituents
who consider the welfare and indeed rights of animals not to be abused,
neglected or cruelly exploited is extremely important to them and the
way they intend to vote.
Please will you let us know why all this legislation has been abandoned, as that is helpful for us in our future campaigning, and also ensure us that it will be re-introduced as soon as possible?
Marian Hussenbux – International Campaigns Secretary
3 thoughts on “Open Letter to Boris Johnson on Animal Welfare U-Turn”
My sincere thanks for your continuing caring and compassion, and addressing so many concerns in the open letter to Boris Johnson. I know that there are so many who are very concerned about these issues, and it is hoped that you will receive a satisfactory response from government.
I have read the open letter and find it very powerful. I consider enormous respect and great care in the words used, the concepts expressed and the references cited.