The UK is set to update its legislation to declare animals to be sentient beings capable of feeling sensations and emotions.
In a massive victory for animal activists, the ruling will apply to all animals, from pets to species abroad.
UK Environment Secretary George Eustice said in a statement: “We are a nation of animal lovers and were the first country in the world to pass animal welfare laws.
“Our animal welfare action plan will meet our clear commitment to ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening, to ban the breeding of primates as pets and introduce new laws to combat puppy smuggling.
“As an independent nation, we are now able to go further than ever to build on our strong record.”
Foie gras could potentially be banned under the new ruling because of the treatment ducks and geese go through to produce the food, and electronic collars that train pets will get the boot.
Import rules will be changed to stop the contraband puppy trade and there will be bans on the trade in ivory and shark fins.
British authorities will have a new crackdown on illegal hare hunting and the sale and use of glue traps will be restricted, according to the Guardian.
Farmers will be pressured to change the way they raise and store live animals, as the government has chosen not to introduce strict rules on cages and crates for poultry and pigs.
Compassion in World Farming Senior Policy Director James West welcomed the measures.
“We have long called for UK legislation that recognizes animals as sentient beings and that sensitivity is duly taken into account when formulating and implementing policy,” he said.
“We are also delighted that the government has confirmed that it will legislate to ban live exports for slaughter and fattening for a long time. We have been campaigning for this for decades: it is high time to end it. this cruel and unnecessary trade. ”
The export of live animals for slaughter will also be banned in the UK under the new ruling and people may soon be unable to import hunting trophies from endangered animals.
A UK government statement said: “Now that we have left the EU, the UK has new freedoms to further strengthen animal welfare standards and strengthen its position as a global champion of animal rights.”