Royal Assent has been granted by the King for the Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill – now making this Law.

The Bill has passed through all Commons and Lords stages without any amendments or opposition, which is unique for any animal law and has immediately received Royal Assent the same day from King Charles.

This is of the most important animal-related bills ever in the UK, protecting millions of endangered animals worldwide is a necessity because of extreme brutality to many species (often endangered) in modern tourism.

Duncan McNair – CEO of award winning charity Save The Asian Elephants who devised and has driven the Bill says:

“Save The Asian Elephants and the millions who have supported our campaign hope the passing into law of the landmark Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill will prove a momentous day for animals everywhere. 

The measures, resolutely implemented and enforced, will help protect endangered and vulnerable species across the world from extreme exploitation, harm and death in tourism. They will also save many lives of humans too, turned upon by maddened elephants and other creatures provoked by torture.

Save The Asian Elephants is hugely appreciative of all who have supported our campaign for these changes, of our government, our Parliament across the party divide, the charity sector and the public. All must now set our hand to starting the transition from brutal and dangerous practices to ethical sanctuaries and wildlife reserves.

Britain can take pride in this world-first law. Now we must encourage the world to follow suit whilst time remains for so many beleaguered species, our brothers and sisters in nature.”

With Asian elephants this starts with “pajan” (breaking of the spirits) …. snatching baby elephants illegally from the wild, isolating and starving, into crushing cages (kraals) then severe stabbing, ripping and beating till they are terrified into submission for easy use in tourism.

STAE has identified to date 1,212 UK based travel companies advertising nearly 300 brutal overseas elephant venues alone.

Dame Joanna Lumley says;

“If only people know what horrors Asian elephants are put through so tourists can ride or pose with them, not a single person would endorse such shocking cruelty. The new law banning promotion of holidays and tours which include exploitative animal encounters in their advertisements is wonderful.” 

Elephants, primates, big cats, bears, dolphins and marines, exotic birds, horses, donkeys and camels – all and more – can be helped back from cruel abuse and often from the brink of extinction now.

Duncan adds;

“Our House of Lords and King Charles has backed this historic measure to protect endless endangered and vulnerable species from extreme violation and death in abusive tourism across the world. 

Now Law a wondrous new vista of opportunity falls open for the safeguarding of the most beautiful and most beleaguered of the world’s creatures. 

The aims and wider potential are momentous for this Law. It is a world first for our nation and a template for all nations that harbour a ruthless trade in abusive animal tourism.

Parliament, government, animal welfare advocates, everyone who treasures this wondrous inheritance of the animal kingdom, will continue to work together to realise the opportunities this Law presents. 

We must harness our efforts to start turning back the many decades of degradation and destruction just one species – ours – has visited on so many others. 

This important Law provides the means of striking back to depose those who would ravage the precious and vulnerable creatures with whom we share this planet. They have been exploited till the last penny of profit has been squeezed from them in blood and pain. Yet they are our brothers and sisters.”

Chris Packham CBE adds; “The brutality to Asian elephants in tourism is often described as the worst animal cruelty of all. We destroy these wondrous species at our peril. I utterly support this great breakthrough to ban adverts for unethical resorts and practices.” 

Now the Bill is law members of the public can support by urging Defra’s Secretary of State Therese Coffey MP to consult with STAE and others on the next stage which is activity regulations whereby a list of forbidden practices is built up: [email protected]

About Save The Asian Elephants’ CEO Duncan McNair:

Duncan is a prominent lawyer practising in commercial and Wills litigation, author and animal welfare campaigner. He undertakes extensive pro bono charity work, especially in the field of local communities and animal welfare.  In 2015 he founded Save The Asian Elephants (“STAE“), a coalition of politicians, academics, lawyers, field experts and campaigners working to protect the Asian elephant from abuse and extinction.

Duncan has addressed numerous influential audiences on the issues arising and solutions formulated by STAE in liaison with specialists in India, the UK and worldwide. Duncan was named “UK Animal Hero of the Year” (2018) in an event attracting 851 nominations.

STAE has been named among the 10 best charities in the world 2023 for helping elephants.

“We’re grateful our work to raise public awareness of the horrors for numerous species, the policies we have developed and contributions towards change and our effective pressure on governments, are recognised – on a shoestring.” Duncan adds.