Animal Welfare


“I’ve spent my life fighting to further the protections of animals, making sure that our laws respect animal sentience and reduce animal suffering. I’ll continue the fight to make sure that our animal welfare laws set an example to the rest of the world.”

-DAME ANDREA JENKYNS


Dame Andrea is a lifelong animal advocate, vegetarian, and loving pet owner. She has used her position in Parliament to further the protections of animals, bringing national attention to animal welfare issues, at home and around the world.

In 2020, Andrea launched her ground-breaking campaign, Animals Matter, to bring attention to cruelty against animals. Working with the Humane Society International (HSI) and Four Paws UK, Andrea brought attention to the cruel treatment of cats and dogs used for their meat in Southeast Asia. Working with President Ian Khama of Botswana, Andrea brought attention to world leading policies of his government, which saw a drastic fall in trophy hunting across Africa. 

You can find out all about Dame Andrea’s work on animal welfare below:

Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill

ANIMAL WELFARE BILL

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill is a crucial piece of legislation, introduced by the Johnson administration, which sought to enhance protections for animals, ban puppy smuggling, 

Dame Andrea launched this petition to show Government the strength of feeling and support that exists across our Nation.  If successful, she hopes that this petition will ensure the Bill continues its journey through Parliament to become law.The decision not to proceed with the Animal Welfare Bill has left many disheartened and worried about the consequences this may have on animal welfare standards in the UK. By signing this petition, we can raise our voices and demonstrate the overwhelming support for this vital legislation, urging the Government to reconsider its position.Please could you pass this on to your friends, and family who share our concern for animal welfare to do the same. Together, we can make a significant impact and ensure the Bill is given the attention it deserves.

 

Banning Trophy Hunting

 

Dame Andrea has been a vocal critic of trophy hunting (and trophy imports) throughout her time in Parliament.

In November 2018, Dame Andrea was a prominent signatory of Early Day Motion 1829 and wrote a public letter to the Secretary of State calling on Government to ban trophy hunting.

Every year, UK trophy hunters are quietly bringing back into the country hundreds of trophies from the world’s most endangered animals. This includes 2 tonnes of elephant tusks, hippos, bears, baboons, leopards, zebras, lions and many other species on the brink of extinction.

Dame Andrea has asked the Government to deliver on the promises made in 2015 and for the UK to be on the front line for bringing forward a global ban.

Alongside colleagues and fellow animal lovers such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Stephen Fry, Chris Packham and Ricky Gervais, Dame Andrea co-signed a letter to ask the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, to restore the ban on trophy hunting.

The ban was introduced in 2014, by President Ian Khama, due to the decimation of the local elephant population. Andrea has asked President Masisi, who is conducting a public consultation, to protect these magnificent creatures and reintroduce the ban launched by his predecessor.

You can find Andrea’s interview with His Excellency President Khama here ➡️

Stopping the Fur Trade

Dame Andrea has long been a vocal critic of the fur trade and has actively supported a ban for fur sales in the UK.

Dame Andrea was pleased when fur farming was banned in England and Wales in 2000, and in Scotland in 2002.

However, fur products can still be legally imported from other countries and sold here in the UK.

Dame Andrea’s belief is that the use of fur is unnecessary and cruel.

The fur trade is responsible for the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals each year—the figure was 135 million in 2015. Additionally, and sadly, the majority of the fur —about 85%—is produced by intensively farming animals in battery cage systems.

You can find Dame Andrea’s 2018 speech on banning the fur trade below:

“It is an honour to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I thank the hon. Member for Cambridge (Daniel Zeichner) for securing such an important debate.

I start by congratulating my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and my hon. Friend the Minister on their work so far in leading the way on tackling animal cruelty. However, we still have a long way to go. As an animal lover, vegetarian and lifelong animal rights activist, and as a compassionate human being, I urge the Minister to listen intently to the strong messages in this Chamber, coming from across the parties, in support of a ban.

I was pleased when fur farming was banned in England and Wales in 2000, and in Scotland in 2002. However, as we have discussed, fur products can still be legally imported from other countries and sold in the UK. In my opinion, the use of fur in 2018 is unnecessary and cruel. The fur trade is responsible for the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals each year—the figure was 135 million in 2015. The majority of the fur —about 85%—is produced by intensively farming animals in battery cage systems, as has been described.

Humane Society International has documented the conditions in which the majority of the animals are kept. I will touch on just a few points. As we have said, animals kept in battery cages on a fur farm are “at best” restrained for their whole lives in wire-floored cages hundreds of thousands of times smaller than their natural territory. They are denied their most basic behavioural needs. Many are killed by gassing or electrocution. Remember that those are the “best” conditions. Examples of the worst conditions of animal suffering in fur farms involve such things as cannibalism, poor psychological wellbeing, untreated wounds, deformities and injuries, and animals having been selectively bred to grow to unnaturally large sizes, with excessive folds of skin, which yield more fur. Then, finally, they are often brutally beaten and stamped to death, and some are even skinned alive.​

Shockingly, 100 million animals every year live their entire lives in the barbaric conditions described. In the UK, leghold traps have been banned since 1958 because of their inhumaneness: animals caught in those traps suffer intense pain and injuries until the trapper returns to kill them. However, the three largest exporters of fur—Russia, Canada and the United States—have not banned the use of leghold traps, even though they are banned in the EU.

In 2016 the value of the fur imported into the UK was £55.6 million. The UK has some of the strongest animal welfare protections in the world. However, all we have done, as my hon. Friends have said, is outsource animal suffering to other countries. The only way to end the trade is to ban the sale of fur in the UK.

According to a 2018 YouGov poll, there is now major public backing for a ban; 69% of those participating supported a ban. I am pleased to say that 153 people in my constituency of Morley and Outwood have signed this petition and agree with me that we need a ban on the farming of wild animals in tiny wire cages, as it is demonstrably inhumane. There is no need for it in 21st-century Britain.

As I said, the Secretary of State has shown real leadership when it comes to banning ivory, introducing CCTV in slaughterhouses and cleaning up our oceans. I hope that he and his Ministers see the need to tackle this animal cruelty. In my opinion, by not banning fur, we are inadvertently condoning it by allowing it to be imported from other countries.”

Banning Ivory Imports

Dame Andrea has long supported banning both the ivory trade and ivory imports.

Over the last decade the number of elephants has declined by almost a third, 20,000 of these incredible creatures are still being slaughtered every year due to the global demand for ivory. That means that one elephant dies every 25 minutes.

You can find Dame Andrea’s speech from Monday 4th June 2018 below:

“It is shocking to hear that over the last decade the number of elephants has declined by almost a third.

Elephants are recognised as being among the most intelligent creatures on earth. They are capable of a range of emotions, including joy, playfulness, grief and mourning. In addition, elephants are able to learn new facts and behaviours, mimic sounds that they hear, self-medicate, play with a sense of humour, perform artistic activities, use tools and display compassion and self-awareness.

20,000 of these incredible creatures are still being slaughtered every year due to the global demand for ivory that is one every 25 minutes. Poaching is driven by consumer demand for ivory and urgent and decisive action is needed to combat this problem. This Bill sends a clear message that we as a civilised country cannot let this continue.

In September 2017, I and other colleagues, signed a letter from Action for Elephants UK to the Prime Minister asking the Government to end to the Ivory Trade and I am glad that they have listened. It is our duty to leave our planet in a better state for our children and this Bill is an important step. I don’t want my son, Clifford, to grow up in a world without elephants and I believe this Bill will aid in making sure that doesn’t happen.

Antique ivory has been used by some to justify the continuation of trade, but Ivory makes up only a tiny proportion of the antiques sold in this country and we’ve seen ivory artificially aged which makes identification difficult. Legal markets in older ivory can also be used by criminals to launder freshly poached ivory by passing it off as antique.  We cannot allow this to happen in the UK.

Some critics of this Bill have said this will harm our cultural heritage, I feel this is claim is unfounded.  We are not calling for the destruction or confiscation of any ivory items in collections. Museums will continue to be allowed to display their artefacts and sales between museums will be allowed, family heirlooms of personal value will not be affected either. It is the commercial trade which needs to end if we are truly to play our part in helping to save elephants.

The ivory trade ban has huge public support, with 95% of respondents polled in a 2017 YouGov survey saying they had no interest in buying antique ivory, and, 88% of respondents to Defra’s consultation exercise having expressed support for a ban on UK ivory sales. Tusk Trust, WWF, the Zoological Society of London and Stop Ivory all welcomed the announcement of this Bill, with John Stephenson, CEO of Stop Ivory called it a “momentous step”.

This Bill will place the UK at the forefront of global efforts to protect elephants and will reassert the UK’s leadership role on conservation issues. I am pleased to hear that in October, the UK will further demonstrate global leadership on this important issue by hosting the fourth international conference on illegal wildlife trade.

This Bill further confirms this Government’s commitment to enhancing animal welfare standards across the board. This ban will be one of the toughest in the world and I praise the Secretary of States leadership on this important issue. It is vital that we end the trade in ivory to ensure elephants and other animals are protected for future generations, this Bill goes a long way to making that happen.

Thank you”