Hilary with his award for Parliamentarian of the Year from League Against Cruel Sports, 2011
Thanks all of you who have written to me about animal welfare. As a vegetarian of over 40 years, I'm a very strong supporter of action to protect our creatures great and small.
This year marks the 13th anniversary of Labour's hunting ban which I voted for and strongly support. I simply cannot understand why the Tories want to bring fox hunting back as animal cruelty is still animal cruelty. I will vote against any attempt to repeal the ban.
Groups such as the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) and Battersea Dogs and Cats' Home have expressed concern about the sentences for animal cruelty, which do not always appear to match the abuse suffered by the animals, especially in the case of extreme cruelty such as dog fighting. The level of cruelty to animals is worrying and it’s important that we send out a strong and powerful message that animal cruelty must stop.
I am committed to improve protection for cats and dogs. I support the LACS' dog-fighting action plan which, amongst other things, proposes a national register of individuals banned from keeping dogs to be held by statutory agencies.
I can assure you that I will continue to press for clear and enforceable penalties against anyone who commits animal cruelty offences.
I am also strongly opposed to any weakening of current EU animal welfare legislation and, if elected, I will vote to ensure that it is transposed directly into UK law as we leave the EU. I also support CCTV in slaughterhouses.
Parliamentary Candidate for Leeds Central