Politically Speaking by Andrea Jenkyns: UK is a global leader in animal welfare

Those of you that regularly read my article will know that as a vegetarian of over 20 years, and a lifelong animal lover, I am committed to campaigning for better living standards for animals both here in the UK and across the world.

CHANGE IN LAW: Pet abduction will be a criminal offence. Photo: Getty Images
CHANGE IN LAW: Pet abduction will be a criminal offence. Photo: Getty Images

Proudly, Britain has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and I believe that it right for us to cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar.

Residents will know that I am pleased with the government’s action in this area.

I welcome that the UK is taking advantage of our status as an independent nation outside the EU to go further in protecting our animals, whether on the farm, at home or in the wild.

I have long campaigned for improvements to animal welfare legislation, and I am proud that the new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act is now in force, enabling tougher prison sentences for the most serious perpetrators of animal cruelty, from the previous maximum of six months to up to five years.

I believe that this increase in sentencing will send a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

This measure is one of the toughest punishments in Europe and highlights our efforts to ensure the UK is a global leader in animal welfare.

Further I am pleased that the government has recently announced a change in the law which will make pet abduction a specific criminal offence.

Thanks to years of campaigning, the law will now recognise pets as beloved members of the family and ensure that criminals face the consequences for such an abhorrent act.

I know some local people have sadly faced pet theft recently and I will always do my best to support action against this, and all, crimes.

Local people may have seen my recently launched animal welfare media-cast called ‘Animals Matter’ where I seek to raise awareness of key animal rights issues alongside campaigners, celebrities and others.

Recently, I sat down with football and TV legend Chris Kamara, or ‘Kammy’, to discuss animal welfare and meet his horses and sheep!

You can find this episode, and others on my social media accounts and at: http://animalsmatter.co.ukGoing forward I am pleased that the government reaffirmed its commitment in the Queen’s Speech to implementing the Ivory Act, bringing in mandatory cat micro-chipping, ending the advertising for sale in the UK of low animal welfare experiences abroad, and banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals abroad.

I look forward to continuing to work with ministers and campaigners to improve the lives of animals both here and across the world.

As always, if you are a resident of the Morley and Outwood constituency please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have a question, an issue you feel I could be helpful with, or an invite to a local event.

I am always keen to hear from local people and look forward to hearing from you.

Please email: [email protected]