I rise to present a petition on behalf of my constituents, who are very concerned about the proposed closure of the animal welfare centre in Wood Green, which has been extant for nearly 100 years. In fact, thousands of people have contacted me about it.
I am sure you will appreciate, Mr Deputy Speaker, the concern that is felt in a community where so many have volunteered—or, perhaps, have not been able to afford to maintain the care of their beloved pets, and have brought them to the Wood Green animal shelter over the years—and the desperation and sense of loss resulting from the charity’s proposal to close the shelter. It has such an important function, particularly in Wood Green, where the loss of young people’s opportunities to volunteer and to connect with animals by looking after, caring for or petting them would be a matter of extreme concern.
I am proud to present this petition to the House, and I know that it will have cross-party support, because so many Members are committed to the welfare of animals. I present it on behalf of all my constituents, but the lead petitioner, Buffy Collett-Bell, a young person studying at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, has been particularly active in promoting the rights of animals, the right to animal welfare and the right for Wood Green to continue to have this desperately needed animal shelter, which will soon reach its 100th anniversary. I hope that the petition will be viewed positively.
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The petition of residents of Hornsey and Wood Green,
Declares that the future of the Wood Green Animals Shelter should be safeguarded; notes the significant and long lasting history of the shelter and the charity in the community; further notes the current Charity are seeking to close the shelter in the near future; further notes that a public petition by residents across the UK, organised by Catherine West MP and local residents, has attracted over 2,000 signatures in support of safeguarding the future of the shelter.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press upon Wood Green, the Animals Charity, to stay in the Wood Green Area and maintain the operation of the shelter, and to safeguard its long-term position.
And the petitioners remain, etc.]