The Labour Party has pledged to combat animal cruelty with measures including a ban on wild animals in circuses and ending the badger cull.

The policies, unveiled a decade after the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, included a vow to defend the Hunting Act – something the Conservative Party may legalise.

As well as an end to the badger cull, which was dubbed to be both “ineffective” and “inhumane” by an independent expert panel, Labour pledged to:

  • review the rules on breeding and selling dogs and cats
  • ban wild animals in circuses
  • defend the Hunting Act
  • reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates
  • lead the fight against global animal cruelty

Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle said: “The last Labour government achieved much to end the cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals – the banning of hunting with dogs, securing an end to cosmetic testing on animals, banning fur farming and introducing the Animal Welfare Act.

“The next Labour government will continue to lead the way on animal welfare, starting with six key commitments that build on our previous achievements at home and abroad.”

Further details of the policies have not yet been released.

Party leader Ed Miliband said: “Our Labour values tell us we have a moral duty to treat the animals we share our planet with in a humane and compassionate way.

“No other major political party has such a proven track record of decisive action for animals at home, on farms and in the wild.”

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