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Animal Welfare Round Up – October 2017

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

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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/

Puppy Smuggling

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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.

Factory Farming

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

Public consultation on proposed changes to flight paths into Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport are proposing to change two of the flight paths into the airport and have informed me that some parts of the Harborne, Selly Oak and Weoley areas could be affected.

The Flight path is called MOSUN and you can see the areas affected via this link to a map provided by the airport https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/about-us/community-and-environment/flight-path-changes-north-runway33/which-flightpath-affects-me/.

More information on the new flightpath and the consultation documents published by the Airport can be found at https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/about-us/community-and-environment/flight-path-changes-north-runway33/

Public consultation on the proposed flight path changes lasts until Monday 6th November and the link above tells you how you can submit your views. The airport are also holding a public meeting on Monday 16th October from 6-8pm, at the School Hall, Harborne Primary School, Station Road, Harborne, B17 9LU to brief residents in this part of South West Birmingham on what they are proposing and to listen to concerns.

Weoley Labour Councillor, Julie Johnson, and I will also be meeting with the airport in the next few weeks to discuss the proposed changes. If you live in my constituency of Birmingham Northfield and there are any issues you would like to raise with us as the elected representatives for your area, having read the consultation document and/or attended the public meeting, please e-mail us – if possible by no later than October 18th – to richard.burden.mp@parliament.uk.

September Newsletter

Welcome to my latest Parliamentary newsletter. This covers local issues and developments as well as my actions in Parliament. You’ll find updates on the bin dispute, traveller sites and other issues. As ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on these or any other issues.

Best wishes,

Richard

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Birmingham Northfield MP wins national road safety award

Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield, has today been awarded a parliamentarian road safety award by charity Brake and Direct Line.

The award recognises Richard’s long-standing involvement in transport and his commitment to road safety, particularly during his time as Shadow Transport Minister between 2013 and 2017. Richard has established himself as a strong supporter of the transport safety agenda across the years; promoting new vehicle technologies and calling for tougher law enforcement and sentencing.

As MP for a vehicle manufacturing heartland, Richard Burden has strong connections to vehicle development, and has consistently urged the industry to develop safe, sustainable and fair practices. Safe vehicles are a vital part of the safe systems agenda that works towards a future with zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Richard is a worthy winner of this parliamentarian road safety award. Improved vehicle safety standards are vital to reducing needless deaths and serious injuries on the road. His tireless work to raise the safety bar of new vehicles is to be applauded, alongside his numerous achievements in his four years as Shadow Transport Minister.”

Accepting his award, Richard Burden MP said: “I want to thank Brake and Direct Line for selecting me for a parliamentary road safety award which I feel honoured to receive. Progress in vehicle design and the rapid technological advancement in intelligent, connected and automated control systems have real potential to help make our roads safer. Together with action to promote best practice in road design, road user education and more effective enforcement of regulations, they can and do save lives.

“Much has been achieved but every person killed or injured on our roads is one too many. That should remind us all of our continuing responsibility to identify what more we can do to make the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads a reality. I pay tribute to Brake and Direct Line for the work they do make our roads safer and to promote awareness amongst road users.”

Letter to DEFRA on Bees and Neonicotinod 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 below:

Letter to Michael Gove