I have been a long-time campaigner for animal rights and have long opposed the cruel treatment of animals.
In 2017, the Government defeated a bill to recognise animal sentience – a bill that I voted for. Later, in 2018, I supported an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act which would have obligated Ministers to recognise animals as sentient beings, even after exiting from the EU. Sadly, this was again voted down by the Government.
In 2019 I stood on a manifesto that commits to recognising animals as sentient and ending the use of cages on British farms altogether. You can find the Opposition animal welfare manifesto here: https://labour.org.uk/issues/animal-welfare-manifesto/.
It remains vitally important that recognition of animal sentience is enshrined in UK law as it leaves the EU, to prevent practices that expose animals to cruel and degrading treatment.
I will continue to challenge the Government to recognise animal sentience and I’m pleased to have heard from many constituents about this.