Constituency Round Up

I love this time of year as there are lots of outdoor events to enjoy right across the constituency, one of which, the Dartmouth Park Dog Show, I dearly love and have been attending for the last three years. Not only was it great fun to meet so many amazing constituents and their dogs, I also had the honour, but difficult task as they were all so beautiful, of judging ‘Best Puppy’.

At the Dog Show, I held a stall to collect signatures for "Lucy’s Law" alongside the Animal Equality charity. It was great to collect so many signatures from dog lovers like myself. Launched in 2017, Lucy’s law calls for an immediate ban on the sale of puppies by pet shops and other third-party commercial dealers. This activity can seriously harm animal welfare, through the trauma of transportation, the increased risk of disease, and premature separation from the mother resulting in behavioural problems.

Since before being elected in 2015, as a keen animal rights supporter and vegetarian, I have often spoken out against animal cruelty both in the press and in Westminster. Lucy’s Law is just one more way we can help to protect animals from needless suffering.

If you would like to add your name to the petition, please feel free to come into my office at 62 Queen Street, Morley, LS27 9BP.

As I mentioned, I am an ardent animal rights supporter, and as such, I was pleased that today Parliament debated the Ivory Bill. It is shocking that over the last decade the number of elephants has declined by almost a third, largely due to the global demand for ivory.

Elephants are recognised as being among the most intelligent creatures on Earth, they are capable of a range of emotions, display compassion and self-awareness, and I don’t want my son, Clifford, to grow up in a world without them. That is why I was pleased that when in September 2017 I, and other colleagues, signed a letter from Action for Elephants, the Government listened and has introduced this Bill to ban the ivory trade.

Also debated in Parliament today was the Fur Trade Bill. I was pleased that fur farming was banned in England and Wales in 2000, and in Scotland in 2002. However, fur products can still be legally imported and sold in the UK.

This trade keeps 100 million animals every year in barbaric conditions, where they are denied their basic needs, are restrained for their whole lives in a small wire cage and are killed by gassing or electrocution.

Whilst the UK, rightly, has some of the strongest animal welfare protections in the world, this problem persists elsewhere and the only way to combat this is to ban the sale of fur in the UK. The use of fur in 2018 is unnecessary and cruel. There is no need for this in 21st century Britain and I hope we ban the fur trade to improve the lives of countless animals worldwide.