I have consistently called for stronger laws against those who cause animals pain and inflict suffering needlessly. For the last two years I have been the Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare.
In 2015 I led a House of Commons debate on the importance of CCTV in UK slaughterhouses, this is an issue I have pursued both in Parliament and with the Government.
I am delighted, therefore, that the Conservative Party Manifesto includes a commitment to ‘make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory’.
On the subject of fox hunting I would vote against a repeal of the Hunting Act. In recent years I have been proud to support Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (Blue Fox) and last year I was pleased to be named a Patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.
As we leave the European Union, we can take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter. The Government’s Great Repeal Bill will convert EU law into UK law. This is a cause I have pursued with the Environment Secretary and her ministerial team – indeed one of the main reasons I campaigned for the UK to leave the EU was precisely so our own Parliament could legislate on these important issues.
In recent years it has been my pleasure to host in Parliament organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports. I last hosted the League a year ago to launch their Project Bloodline report on tackling dog fighting.
The Conservatives are also tackling backstreet puppy breeders; recently announcing plans which will make it completely illegal to sell puppies younger than eight weeks old and require anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year to apply for a formal licence.
This is a cause I have campaigned on over the course of the last year, including officially holding an event in Parliament in support of awareness of signs that an animal may be being mistreated.
Under the Conservatives, the banning of testing of household products on animals came into effect. This covers all finished products, including detergents, polishes and cleaning products, laundry products, air fresheners, deodorants, paints and other decorating materials.
The UK has also led calls in Europe for better conditions for farm animals; and the better enforcement of the bans on battery hen cages and sow stalls, with the UK farming industry spending millions of pounds to improve conditions for animals.