LISA NANDY MP: All animals deserve protection

Animal welfare is one of the most frequent issues raised with me by constituents.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Britain is famous as a nation of animal lovers and Wigan more than lives up to this reputation.

The last Labour Government built a proud record around promoting the welfare of animals, from the bans on fox-hunting and fur farming to the action taken to stop experimentation on great apes and ban the testing of cosmetics on animals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

We also introduced the landmark Animal Welfare Act 2006, which finally called time on mutilations such as the docking of dog tails and made owners and keepers responsible for ensuring the welfare of their animals.

Lisa Nandy says the laws protecting animals should be toughened: not weakened as is the case with the current governmentLisa Nandy says the laws protecting animals should be toughened: not weakened as is the case with the current government
Lisa Nandy says the laws protecting animals should be toughened: not weakened as is the case with the current government
Read More
Wigan police officers hailed for stopping a man from throwing himself from a rai...

In opposition we have maintained those traditions, from proposing bans on the import of fur and foie gras to demanding our farmers are not undercut by imported meat produced to lower standards abroad.

Our belief in improving animal welfare is a matter of principle and conviction.

Contrast all that with the current Conservative Government which has just scrapped its flagship animal welfare legislation after over 18 months of delay and dithering since it was first introduced to Parliament.

Lisa Nandy MPLisa Nandy MP
Lisa Nandy MP
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At the last General Election, all Tory MPs stood on an election platform which pledged to voters that legislation would be introduced on a range of important animal welfare issues.

The subsequent Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill would have allowed for regulations to restrict the import of dogs on welfare grounds, including the possibility of banning the import of dogs with cropped ears or docked tails.

The Bill would have also introduced a licensing system for keeping primates as pets, banned the live export of animals for fattening and slaughter, and allowed the Government to make broader regulations about the importation of cats and dogs into the UK.

The measures in the Bill had widespread support from our dedicated animal welfare charities, the public (including the many people from Wigan who have contacted me about the Bill) and across MPs from all parties.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I was therefore extremely disappointed when without any proper explanation – let alone an apology – the Bill was recently dropped.

Ditching this proposed law is not only a betrayal of voters’ trust, it also blocks Parliament from scrutinising, improving and progressing measures to protect animals and gives the green light to puppy smugglers, puppy farmers and pet thieves while also allowing live animal exports to continue.

At the end of last month I supported an Opposition motion to bring the Bill back before Parliament but the Government ordered its MPs to vote this down.

This is not the first time that animal welfare proposals have been dropped by the Conservative Government. Legislation to end imports of fur and foie gras were also axed due to fears of a backlash from Conservative MPs. Plans to end the use of cruel animal cages in farming have also been shelved.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Strengthening our animal welfare laws must remain a priority and I will always support action to achieve the strongest possible animal welfare policies. All animals deserve protection and I believe it is wrong for the Government to promise tougher legislation if such promises are then not seen through.