I have consistently called for stronger laws against those who cause animals pain and inflict suffering needlessly. Since June 2015 it has been my privilege to serve as 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 in Parliament and was delighted when the Government adopted this as law.
I have additionally called for the end of live exports of animals for slaughter, and welcome the Government’s action to launch a call for evidence on this important animal welfare issue.
Over the last year we have also seen action on increasing sentences for animal cruelty tenfold to five years, banning of back street puppy breeders, ending the third party sales of puppies, and publishing updated animal welfare codes.
In June 2018, I was pleased to lead a House of Commons debate calling for a ban on imports of foie gras; a ‘product’ derived from fatty livers of ducks or geese after they have been force-fed maize repeatedly, by having a metal tube inserted down their throats two or three times a day.
While domestic production of foie gras is thankfully banned in this country, the importing of it is still allowed – a double standard we need to put right. After leaving the EU’s single market, Britain will be able to make the decision to ban imports of this so-called delicacy. I urge the Government to take this action in line with the progress we have seen in recent years in the area of animal rights.
I have also served on the Public Bill Committee of the Government’s Ivory Bill. This legislation will help protect the approximate 20,000 elephants slaughtered each year for their ivory.