Labour’s fox hunting ban was a landmark piece of legislation, part of the animal welfare revolution led by the last Labour Government. I’m still really proud that we outlawed hunting with hounds in the face of fierce opposition from the Tories who have repeatedly promised to call a vote in parliament to bring this barbarous practice back.
But the experience of those 14 years have taught us how we can improve and tighten the law. Which is why we have announced a four point plan to improve the 2004 Act;
- Review sentencing to ensure effective deterrence includes the use of custodial sentences in line with other wildlife crimes.
- Strengthening the criteria on which research licenses are issued.
- The removal of the exemption “use of dogs below ground to protect birds for shooting”, as it risks fights between dogs and wild mammals.
- The introduction of a ‘recklessness clause’ to prevent trail hunting from being used as a cover for the illegal hunting of live wild animals.
This is part of our broad and radical plan to improve animal rights in the UK. We’re determined that the next Labour Government will be as radical in improving the lives of animals as the last Labour Government was, so we have published our 50 point manifesto for animals which includes;
- Creating an Animal Rights Commissioner to enforce animal rights
- Fully labelling meat as stunned or non-stunned before slaughter
- Legislating to include the principle of animal sentience in UK law
I continue to work with MPs across Parliament to try to convince the Government to make improvements to animal welfare rules. I have;
- Voted to end the trade in antique ivory in the UK
- Voted to raise the maximum sentence for animal cruelty
- Raised the issue of the tethering of horses with Ministers
In Cardiff Central we’re passionate about animals and their care and I make sure that I reflect that passion and care in the work I do on your behalf in Parliament