I believe the humane treatment of animals is the benchmark of a civilised society. I welcomed the ban on fur farming in the UK and the 2006 Animal Welfare Act which put into law the most fundamental piece of animal welfare legislation for nearly a century.
But the Government needs to do more at home and abroad to improve animal welfare standards. National governments have a duty to work together to fight animal cruelty across the world. Progress has been made on this front, for example, Denmark, the world’s largest mink fur producer, is currently in the process of phasing out fur farming, and the Netherlands has recently banned the farming of foxes and chinchillas, so it seems clear to me that other countries find the practice abhorrent too. I want Britain to be setting the bar internationally for the protection of animals - especially when it comes to the fur trade.
Beyond this, the Government has said that current arrangements for our environment will remain in place until we leave the EU. But I am concerned many environmental protections are at risk. Despite repeated questioning by Opposition MPs, the Government has failed to set out which environmental protections and regulations it will retain after Brexit. I believe the Government needs to set out whether it remains committed to the current, hard-won, animal welfare and environmental protections and what more they will do to show leadership in this area.
I am a long-time supporter of a number of animal welfare charities and campaign groups and I support all the fantastic work they do protecting animal welfare. I will follow this issue closely and will continue to speak out against animal cruelty.
The Government must commit to protecting wildlife to the highest standards after we leave the EU and must lead to stop the cruel and inhumane fur trade.