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


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:

Puppy Smuggling


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

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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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You can reach me by email at or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.