MP Appalled by Government’s Animal Welfare Agenda

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05 July 2011

Kerry has attacked the Government on its appalling animal welfare agenda that will permit the culling of badgers, the continued use of wild animals in the circus and a vote on fox hunting within this Parliament.  During last week’s DEFRA   (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) oral questions, the Government confirmed that there will be a vote on whether to repeal the ban on fox hunting, and sidestepped calls to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.  

The Farming Minister  also  hinted strongly that  he  will announce proposals to permit the widespread culling of badgers before Parliament breaks up for summer recess  in a couple of weeks' time, despite compelling scientific research that suggests the culling of badgers is not effective in preventing the spread of TB. This culling is likely to begin in the South West.

Kerry said: ‘People have every right to be appalled by the Government’s animal welfare agenda. By confirming that there will be a vote on fox hunting in this Parliament, backtracking on calls  for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, and supporting the culling of badgers, the Government has shown that it has no interest in protecting the welfare of animals and it seem prepared to ignored the voices of tens of thousands of people who have given their support to these campaigns.

The recent debate in Parliament showed that there is cross-party support for a ban on wild animals in circuses, and massive public support.  I was appalled to see Government ministers wriggling on this topic, citing spurious technical grounds for why the ban could not go ahead. There is absolutely nothing stopping the Government introducing a Bill that that would ban this outdated and cruel form of entertainment.  

Sadly, last week, we saw the Government’s true colours on animal welfare.  I would urge everyone who cares about these issues to lobby their local Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs, and show them that we do not want to turn the clock back on animal welfare".



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