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Animal Welfare Standards

Volume 679: debated on Thursday 10 September 2020

This country has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world. We have modernised standards for dog breeding, changed the way we do pet sales, brought in a world-leading ivory ban and introduced mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses. We are going further, as we said we would in our manifesto, to end excessively long journeys for farm animals, to ban primates as pets and to ban imports from trophy hunting.

I thank the Minister for that answer, which will reassure the many Gedling residents who write to me on animal welfare issues. As our manifesto made clear, leaving the European Union gives us the opportunity to enhance standards, not reduce them. Given that, does my hon. Friend agree that we should perhaps stop playing party politics on this issue and get behind the many initiatives that the Government have introduced to promote high animal welfare standards and increased protection for animals in homes, farms and the wild?

I certainly agree with my hon. Friend that there is a great deal of interest across this House and, indeed, among our constituents in issues concerning animal welfare. The UK is a leader when it comes to matters of animal welfare, but there is always more that we can and will do.

My family enjoys quality food bought directly from farms across my constituency, such as Ibbotsons in Sandbach, Glebe Farm in Astbury, Hall Farm shop in Alsager, the Cheshire Egg Co.’s dispenser at Pace’s farm and daily fresh Bidlea milk from Twemlow. What more can the Government do to help those and other rural businesses in my constituency to promote their high-quality local produce?

My hon. Friend is right to highlight the delicious food—from lovely meat to the famous Cheshire cheese—that is undoubtedly available in her constituency. We are supporting initiatives to promote local produce, including through recent industry-led marketing campaigns. We will always champion our farmers and producers to grow more of our great British food.