Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting Imports

Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting Imports

I have been contacted by several constituents calling for a ban on the import of hunting trophies into Britain. Amongst other species, elephants, lions, hippopotamuses, leopards and rhinoceroses, popular with British trophy hunters, are fighting for their lives.

I agree that the practice of importing hunting trophies is wrong and requires firmer action. The UK must show global leadership by tackling illegal wildlife trade and bringing an end to trophy hunting. I gave my support to the Early Day Motion back in November, which called on the Government to commit to halting imports of hunting trophies as a matter of urgency and I will continue to put pressure on this Government to follow the precedent set by Australia, France and the Netherlands, and introduce import bans.

The Opposition consulted on an Animal Welfare Plan between February and May last year. It included a proposal to end the import of wild animal trophies from species that are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and to expand this ban to species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The international rules for the import and export of hunting trophies are established under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Killing endangered wildlife for pleasure has a direct impact on the conservation status of some of the world’s most endangered wildlife: it is cruel, archaic and immoral and has no place in today’s Britain.

Campaign to Ban Live Exports

Campaign to Ban Live Exports

Prompted by the campaign by Compassion in World Farming, I’ve been contacted by constituents regarding the live export of farm animals for slaughter and fattening.

A Government consultation on proposals for future food, farming and environmental policy closed earlier this month. It has also launched a call for evidence on controlling live exports for slaughter after Brexit. However, I believe it should go further and bring forward measures to ban live animal exports for slaughter and fattening.

The Labour Party is currently consulting on a new Animal Welfare Plan and is considering proposals including a ban on live animal exports for fattening and slaughter, as well as the possible introduction of mandatory labelling of meat and the potential for ending the use of cages, with a phased ban on sow farrowing crates.

With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we must ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place to make sure the UK has equal and better animal rights going forward.

We must prioritise a sustainable, long-term future for our farming, fishing and food industries. We cannot allow Brexit to be used as an excuse for food standards to be reduced or to allow cheap and inferior produce to flood the UK market. I believe that a new food and farming plan should also help us grow, buy and sell more British food.

I will continue to call for action to promote a humane and sustainable British farming system.

Animal Welfare and the Fur Trade

Animal Welfare and the Fur Trade

I have been contacted by many constituents voicing their concerns about the fur trade.

In 2000, the UK was the first country in Europe to ban fur farming when the breeding and slaughter of animals for the value of their fur was banned on public morality grounds.

The UK has a proud history on animal welfare. I am proud of our role in introducing the EU bans on the sale of cat, dog and seal fur.

The current UK Government has committed, after Brexit, to retaining current regulations on cat, dog and seal fur imports. It has however, ruled out a wider unilateral national ban on the import or sale of fur. The Government believes that the best way of phasing out cruel and inhumane farming and trapping practices in other parts of the world which are banned in the UK is to press for higher animal welfare standards worldwide. Brexit must not lead to any watering down of existing standards on animal welfare and it is therefore welcome that the existing bans on cat, dog and seal fur imports will be maintained.

However, there is a real opportunity now for more progressive and ambitious policies which set the UK apart as a standard-bearer on animal welfare. The Labour Party is currently consulting on a new Animal Welfare Plan and is considering measures to tackle the trade in fur by requiring shops to prominently label items containing real fur. The Party is also considering the potential for phasing in a ban on all fur imports.

Parliament will soon be given the opportunity to debate these important issues further and I will continue to press for the highest possible standards of animal welfare at home and abroad.