Skip to content

Articles about ‘Animal welfare’

Election 2017: My Position on Animal Welfare Issues

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.

Fox Hunting
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.

Ivory Ban
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.

 

Animal Welfare Round Up – January 2017

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

Tabby Kitten and Golden Retriever puppy

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

October Newsletter

RB Newsletter header3

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.

Best wishes,

Richard

 

In Birmingham Northfield

Boundary Review

bce-northfield-proposals

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

Animal Welfare Round-Up – October 2016

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. You can find my previous AWRUs here.

Bees and Pesticides

This issue is one that I’ve received the most emails from constituents about in recent months. Quite rightly, many people have been worried about the declining bee population and the impact this would have if the downward trend continues. There have also been concerns that the government may relax restrictions on the use of certain pesticides, particularly in light of Brexit. I wrote to the government about bees and pesticides earlier this year and you can read the government’s response to my letter here. I will be continuing to monitor this. Read more

Understanding the new world we are in

Three weeks ago it all felt so different. Britain had not yet voted to leave the European Union. The Pound had not plummeted. The Bank of England had not yet had to step in to steady the situation. The Prime Minister had not announced his resignation and the UK’s major political parties had yet not appeared to be in turmoil.

None of us have lived through anything quite like this before and nobody can know what lies ahead. As we now try to navigate a new course through the uncharted waters which lie ahead, though, here are some markers that I believe should guide us.

Read more