Animal Welfare Round-up Issue #3


Welcome to my Animal Welfare Round-Up, where I regularly update you on some of the animal causes I have recently been campaigning on.

CCTV in Slaughterhouses  

In recent months I have received a large number of emails about making mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses. Recent work by Animal Aid has shown that standards in some slaughterhouses are unacceptable. There have been clear breaches in some instances, including serious and deeply concerning abuses – including the beating, tormenting and burning of live animals.


While there has been a degree of public consciousness around this issue in recent years, the reactive measures haven’t eliminated the problem. In light of this, I wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in August and received a response last month which you can read here. In his reply, Minister George Eustice MP agreed that there were real benefits to using CCTV, but that “it cannot replace the need for businesses to have proper monitoring procedures in place”.

He also highlighted that the Food Standards Agency estimates that 90-99% of cattle, pig, sheep and poultry throughput now comes from slaughterhouses with CCTV in use. As such, the Government’s position is that “it is not necessary to legislate for change to happen” and that it “is exploring ways to encourage take up in the remaining slaughterhouses without CCTV.

I will, of course, be continuing to press the Government on this and other animal welfare issues. As long as there is animal abuse in the meat production industry, there is still a problem that needs to be addressed.


Beagle breeding for scientific procedures


Many of you also got in touch about the puppy farming that is taking place under the Government’s watch with beagles being used for scientific procedures. There are two elements to this which I am uncomfortable with. Firstly, that such experiments on animals – especially dogs – still persists, and secondly that dogs are bred, raised and effectively farmed in such an environment and that they spend their whole – often torturous – lives under such facilities.

I wrote to the Home Office in August raising these concerns. I have since received a response from Lord Bates which you can read here.


All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) 

I am pleased to inform you that I recently joined the new APGAW. This group operates across parties and is made up of MPs, Peers and associate animal welfare organisations or groups with a specific interest in this area.

The aim of the group is to promote and further the cause of animal welfare by all means available to Parliament and in Europe. We will be looking to influence the development and introduction of effective wide-ranging legislation to improve welfare and also to act as a discussion forum of politicians and welfare experts to look at areas of concern. I look forward to being involved with the APGAW throughout this upcoming parliament.

You can find out more about the APGAW, on the Group’s website here.


Labour Animal Welfare Society

During the Labour Party Conference last month, I took the opportunity to meet with the Labour Animal Welfare Society. Within the party, this grouping does a lot of important work in representing the interests of animals. You can see their animal welfare policy booklet here or alternatively have a look at their website.

I hope you find this update useful – remember you can also follow my work on Facebook and Twitter.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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