CONSERVATIVE MPs have urged the Government to reveal how it will fulfil a series of promises to bolster animal welfare.

Ministers scrapped the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill in May, after it already suffered long delays since it was first introduced in June 2021.

The legislation was expected to have cracked down on puppy smuggling, banned live animal exports for fattening and slaughter, and helped to tackle pet abduction and livestock worrying, among other changes.

Commons leader Penny Mordaunt said her Tory backbench colleagues “should be reassured” that the Government still plans to fulfil its pledges, but would not be drawn into details about how.

In the Commons, Tory former environment secretary Theresa Villiers said: “We have a manifesto commitment to ban live export of animals to slaughter and to crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs.

“The Kept Animals Bill would have delivered these promises, it was withdrawn. When will the Government produce new legislation to keep those important promises?”

Ms Mordaunt responded: “We have a great track record on improving animal welfare. We are world-leading now in terms of our animal welfare legislation.

“These are commitments that were manifesto commitments. We are committed to them still.”

She added: “She will know that further business will be announced in the usual way but she should be reassured.”

Jo Gideon, the Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, meanwhile questioned what had happened to ministers’ plans to ban shock collars.

She told the Commons: “Electronic collars work by delivering an electronic pulse to suppress unwanted behaviour which can be painful and frightening and even decrease the animal’s ability to learn.

“So I was pleased that in April the Government announced a very welcome ban on their use. However no date has been set for the final stages of legislation. Over 90% of the population are in favour of implementing a ban as soon as possible on this cruel practice.

“Does she agree and can she confirm a timetable for bringing forward this important piece of legislation?”

Ms Mordaunt replied: “She is right that we are committed to this. We are not intending to ban things such as perimeter fencing which actually protects animals, but these shock collars do cause unnecessary suffering to an animal.

“I will certainly make sure that the Secretary of State has heard her keenness for an update.”

The Government is also facing pressure from Tory MPs who want to ban trophy hunting imports, but are worried a Bill to bring this forward will run out of parliamentary time.

The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill would prohibit bringing into the country hunting trophies from species deemed of conservation concern, and is supported by the Government, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

It has already been approved by the House of Commons but it will fall if it does not clear the House of Lords before the current parliamentary session stops ahead of the King’s Speech on November 7.