Welcome to my latest Animal Welfare Round-Up. This is a newsletter I send out every two months to update you on the issues that many of you get in touch with me about. This allows me to update you on the action I’ve been taking on your behalf on these issues.
Increasing Animal Cruelty Sentences
This issue is one that I’ve received the most emails from constituents about in recent months. Quite rightly, currently the maximum sentence for animal cruelty in England and Wales is just six months.
Increasing the maximum sentence for those convicted of committing animal cruelty to five years is an official Labour pledge. It appears that the Government are now following Labour’s lead, this week the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, announced long overdue plans to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty to five years.
Bees and Pesticides
Many constituents have contacted me recently about the upcoming European Commission vote on extending the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides to cover all crops. Bees play a vital role in the environment as well as food supply. It is right then, that both the Government and European Commission take steps to protect bees. As such, I wrote to the Government to share people’s concerns about the impact of pesticides on the bee population. You can read my letter here: http://richardburden.com/2017/09/letter-to-defra-on-bees-and-neonicotinod-pesticides/
Each year thousands of puppies are illegally imported into the UK. I share the concerns of many constituents that these puppies are often too young to be sold, with fraudulent veterinary records and transported for days in unsuitable conditions, to then be sold via online adverts to unsuspecting members of the public.I have therefore tabled questions to DEFRA to ask what action they are taking to tackle the illegal smuggling of puppies.
A number of constituents have expressed concerns about factory farming. Animals in our food chain need welfare standards and require stronger protection from cruelty. I have asked the Government what they have been doing to improve farming conditions for animals
Many constituents have contacted me recently about the upcoming European Commission vote on extending the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides to cover all crops. Bees play a vital role in the environment as well as food supply. It is right then, that both the Government and European Commission take steps to protect bees. As such, I wrote to the Government to share people’s concerns about the impact of pesticides on the bee population. You can read my letter below:
Below is a round up of some of the animal welfare issues at this election. As you may already know, this is an issue I’ve done a lot of work on as an MP and you can see my record here. It is because of that record and my stances on animal welfare that I have just been endorsed and supported by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. I hope you feel able to support me too.
During the course of the campaign, Theresa May made clear she is no friend of foxes when she pledged to repeal the ban on fox hunting. To me, this pledge just shows how out of touch the Conservatives are with ordinary people. A recent poll showed 9 in 10 people support the ban. In my view, seeing a pack of animals rip a fox to pieces isn’t a sport and it isn’t a priority for our country.
I was a strong supporter of the Hunting Act when it was passed in 2004 by Labour in government. I will campaign and vote against any attempt to bring back this barbaric practice.
It’s not just Conservative plans to repeal fox hunting that have left local residents feeling irate, many people have been in touch about the Conservatives dropping their 2015 pledge to ban ivory trading. I share everyone’s disappointment, it seems the Tories under Theresa May are happy to go backwards on so many environmental issues just when it seemed we’d arrived at a clear consensus. Elephants are iconic animals vital for African and Asian eco-systems, but it seems the Conservatives would rather bow to the interests of ivory collectors.
Increasing Sentences for Animal Abusers
I am proud that Labour have made commitments for ever greater animal protections in our manifesto. This includes increasing the maximum sentence for those convicted of committing animal cruelty from sixth months to five years. Labour MPs led by Anna Turley previously tried to pass this into law back in February, only for Conservatives to block the attempt. It is now an official Labour pledge and one a future Labour Government would deliver to make the punishment fit the crime.
Labour: Sustainability and the Environment
Here is a link to the Leading Richer Lives chapter of Labour’s manifesto, which outlines our action plan for the environment, animal welfare, transport and local communities: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/leading-richer-lives
As well as championing more sustainable fishing and farming practices, protecting bees and planting a million native tree species, a Labour Government are committed to:
– Prohibit the third-party sale of puppies
– Introduce and enforce a total ban on ivory trading
– Delivering on the ban on wild animals in circuses which the Tories keep delaying
– Maintaining bans on fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing
– Passing a Clean Air Act to mitigate the illegal air quality crisis which the Conservatives have allowed to choke our towns and cities.
It is on this basis that I ask for your support as I seek re-election to be Birmingham Northfield’s local, independently-minded and trusted Member of Parliament. I hope you feel able to support me on June 8th.
Welcome to my latest Animal Welfare Round Up and the first one of 2017. I continue to receive emails from constituents about a number of issues around animal welfare. Here is what I’ve been doing on the issues you’ve asked me to raise.
Kitten and Puppy Breeding
This has been the most popular campaign issue among constituents in the last two months. Sadly, kittens and puppies are often bred to be treated as an ordinary commodity to be bought and sold for profit without consideration for their welfare or risk of abuse. Many of the kittens and puppies sold underage are prone to become sick and sometimes die very young. In response to this – and all of your emails – I wrote to the Government to press them for stronger standards on the breeding and sale of puppies and kittens. You can read the Government’s encouraging response here. Read more
Welcome to my latest Parliamentary newsletter. This covers local issues and developments as well as my actions in Parliament. As ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on these or any other issues.
In Birmingham Northfield
The Boundary Commission published their proposals for changes to Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England. Under these proposals, Birmingham would be set to lose one Parliamentary seat overall. There would still be a constituency called Birmingham Northfield, but it would be very different to the current one. Read more