This Tuesday The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) launched a shocking new report on dog fighting in the UK. I spoke to them in Parliament about their findings. Dog fighting is a serious animal welfare issue and also a gateway for other criminal activities. I know it is something that my constituents are particularly concerned about.
The LACS’s report – Project Bloodline –assessed the scale of the problem. The evidence was stark. I was shocked and saddened to learn that when dogs are trained to fight, owners will punch and hit the dog’s head against a wall to toughen them up. Investigators found the bodies of dead fighting dogs dumped near farmland. Both dogs and cats are used as ‘bait’.
Dog fighting is supported by criminal networks. The LACS’s undercover investigators were offered dogs that could be trained to fight, including banned breeds like Pit Bulls. There are clear problems with how dangerous dogs are identified. Prohibited breeds will often be cross-bred with other breeds. But banning breeds alone will not solve the issue – last year, just 5% of dogs seized by 13 police forces in relation to responsible dog ownership were prohibited types.
This cruel sport, which is on the rise across the UK, needs to end. There is still a serious lack of information and inconsistency of approaches in dealing with dog fighting. Moreover, action needs to be taken to tackle the problem at its source – irresponsible and criminal owners.
This Tuesday The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) launched a shocking new report on dog fighting in the UK. I spoke to them in Parliament about their findings. Dog fighting...
Labour stands for a bottom up approach to the devolution of power. This is not what is on offer from the Tory government.
The government’s decision to impose Metro Mayors on local areas and combined authorities as a precondition of devolution is wrong.
It is doubly wrong when that imposition is being applied even to areas where the local population voted only recently in a referendum to reject the idea of being governed by a Mayor.
And it is triply wrong when combined with the iron grip which the chancellor has exercised on local councils’ spending by imposing cuts on some of the most deprived communities in Britain. Instead of empowering councils, the government is cutting funding and holding communities back.
It is also wrong for the Conservative government to take powers back to Westminster. The latest example being the forced academisation of schools. We need a much more serious approach to getting powers and funding out of Whitehall and into our communities.
Labour believes in a devolution that gives local people the power to make their communities and economies stronger and fairer.
My question is: why doesn’t the Tory government trust local communities to decide how they should be governed? Some may want Mayors. Others may not. The imposition of mayors is in direct opposition to the very definition of devolution and it is deeply unhelpful that Osborne is insisting on making these deals behind closed doors therefore appearing to exclude the public.
Labour stands for a bottom up approach to the devolution of power. This is not what is on offer from the Tory government. The government’s decision to impose Metro...
Today I am calling on the House of Lords to defend 970 of my most vulnerable constituents; people with cancer, learning disabilities, mental health problems, and degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s. They are all at risk of having their income reduced cut from £102.15 to £73.10 per week as the Conservatives attempt to reduce the support available to those with long term illness and disabilities.
The people that are being affected want to work, they want to contribute to society, and they don’t want to be stuck at home. What they need from a government is help. Help in developing skills, help applying for jobs, and financial support that means they are not living in poverty.
However our current government does not understand this. They can only distinguish between those in work and those not in work. They think if you don’t work it’s your fault, even if you’re ill or disabled. Their only way to get people back into work is to punish unemployment with poverty.
Half a million people across the country now face an uncertain future. Every day they face challenges because of their illness. They then have the stress of trying to find work. Now they have to deal with fear of a life in poverty.
These cuts were previously rejected by the Lords, criticised by national charities and even opposed by backbench Conservative MPs. Everyone apart from the Government knows that this policy is simply inhumane.
Make no mistake the next Labour Government will cut the benefits bill by making sure everybody who works gets the living wage and by fairer rents. We will also ensure that the vulnerable and those who need help getting back to work have a decent income as well.
Today I am calling on the House of Lords to defend 970 of my most vulnerable constituents; people with cancer, learning disabilities, mental health problems, and degenerative diseases, such as...