In recent weeks, I have been pleased to see progress on some of the animal welfare causes I have championed alongside local campaigners and residents. This welcome progress represents, in my mind, a nation that is sure in its commitment to the natural world and I look forward to this continuing.
I am very proud that the UK has become the first country in Europe to ban the cruel practice of live animal exports. Previously, EU rules prevented any changes to these journeys, but Brexit has enabled the Government to pursue these plans which prevent unnecessary suffering of animals and further cement the UK as a world leader in animal welfare.
I know residents also welcome this news, and I was pleased so many contacted me about this expressing their positive view of this move. I will continue to work on these issues and seek to find appropriate ways to further animal welfare as we go forwards.
In addition to this, residents may be aware that the Home Secretary has also announced a taskforce to tackle this vile crime of pet theft. Further I welcome the fact that the Home Secretary has met with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to discuss a cross-government approach to combating this important issue.
Pets are cherished members of the family and pet theft is a particularly vicious crime. I know in recent months residents have become increasingly concerned by this issue which is seemingly on the rise due to a demand for pets during the lockdown period.
Currently, the theft of a pet is a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968 and the maximum penalty is seven years' imprisonment. The taskforce will examine every option available to protect families from this appalling crime and make sure perpetrators feel the full force of the law.
As an animal lover, and owner of two dogs, I share resident’s increasing concern about the threat of pet theft. I have launched a Pet Theft survey on my website where residents can express their views and outline any additional measures they feel might help to tackle these crimes.
Last week, I visited a primary school in my constituency, I toured the classrooms and took part in a lively Q&A session with the students. I was pleased so many pupils were so engaged with both democracy and current affairs, in addition to their passionate interest in the environment and animal welfare.
We discussed World Rainforest Day which was held on Tuesday 22nd of June, and how deforestation is having a significant impact on the loss of biodiversity and impacting on the extinction threats of species such as the Asian Elephant. With the next generation so aware of these important issues I feel sure that humanity will find solutions to these challenges and hopefully save many animals from extinction.
As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you live in Morley & Outwood and I am able to assist you in any way. Email me on: Andrea.Jenkyns.MP@Parliament.UK