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ATA Chief Executive calls for exemption from welfare reforms

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Dr Bruno Broughton, ATA Chief Executive: has called for modifications to the Animal Welfare Bill.

The body that represents the angling trade in the UK has called on recreational fishing to be exempted from proposed legislation that could have serious repercussions for the sport.

A new Animal Welfare Bill is set to cover all “sentient beings – those presumed to be able to feel pain and suffer, including fish’. The Angling Trade Association (ATA) is calling for it to be modified to include only specified, more ‘evolutionary-advanced’ animal groups, such as vertebrates or so-called ‘warm-blooded’ animals.

The ATA Chief Executive, Dr Bruno Broughton, warned of the unintended and dangerous consequences arising from the Bill. “Good fish welfare is at the very heart of angling because the sport relies on healthy fish and sustainable fish populations,” he said.

“However, as currently drafted, the Bill would be a hostage to fortune and enshrine in law what would amount to animal rights legislation. This could be disastrous for millions of citizens and for huge sections of British industry, commerce and recreation – including our own.”

He added that the ATA is committed to ongoing dialogue with the UK Government to push for a sensible approach to redrafting the Bill, so that it is fit for its intended purpose.

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