As many of you may know, I am a passionate animal rights advocate and am always looking for new ways to support the protection of animals and their welfare. As an animal lover, I have long been a vegetarian and supporter of animal rights. My Mini Schnauzers, Lady and Godiva, won top prize in the Westminster Dog of the Year show 2015. Lady has since passed away, however Godiva is still with us and often joins me when I'm out and about, chatting to residents!
Supporting Animal Welfare Charities
I have recently had the pleasure of hosting the Dogs Trust annual Parliamentary event. I am supporting their campaign to stop puppy smuggling altogether, it is a cruel trade and must end! See more.
I have also written to Micheal Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to support the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home campaign to increase the maximum custodial sentence for the most serious acts of animal cruelty to five years imprisonment. This is a part of the #NotFunny campaign and you can read my letter: here.
I am pleased to support Food Compass, an online directory, label and certification service that is primarily about choice. This service provides and empowers the general public with knowledge about the food offered for sale by participating restaurants, takeaways and other establishments.
There is a growing demand in the UK from consumers who want assurances that animals have not undergone excessive cruelty, pain and distress associated with ritual slaughter. This directory is comprised only of food businesses who source livestock that have been pre-stunned prior to slaughter.: https://www.food-compass.co.uk/
I do not eat meat, but I accept that is a personal choice. I believe that even animals who are raised for food should be treated with respect and dignity, that is why I am against non-stun slaughter.
Fighting Trophy Hunters
I also signed Early Day Motion 1829 in November to ban trophy hunting. Every year, UK trophy hunters are quietly bringing back in the country hundreds of trophies from the world's most endangered animals. I have asked the Government to deliver and ensure the UK is on the front line for bringing a global ban. See more.
I have also launched a petition calling on the Government to ban trophy imports. You can sign this petition here: Click me
I am campaigning for the Government to do more to combat trophy hunting, and have written to the Secretary of State on this issue- you can see this, and his response, here
Stop Importing Animal Suffering
I am supporting the ban of fur sales in the UK. I 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 in the UK. In my opinion, 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 read my speech here: Click me.
I have long supported banning Ivory trading. It is shocking to hear that 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 is one every 25 minutes. Read my speech here: Click me!
As a passionate Brexiteer, I see many great opportunities and benefits to leaving the European Union. I feel that the improvement of animal rights is a significant prize from this process. I have called for a ban on foie gras after Brexit. Popular in France, foie gras is a delicacy that is made from the livers of ducks that have been force-fed. Although currently banned in the UK due to the cruel manufacturing process, around 200 tonnes continues to be imported each year from the continent. More here.
Together with residents, I put together a petition calling for a ban on the importation of puppies & kittens below 6 months old after Brexit, I handed this to the Secretary of State, see more here.
I am pleased that the Government has responded to this petition, outlining that they are determined to end puppy smuggling. Read the full response here