Animal Welfare



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, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the hunting ban which I voted for. I have written more about the hunting ban here.

At the election we made a series of commitments on animal welfare which would have been implemented if we'd won. At the time of the election my colleague Maria Eagle, the Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"The last Labour government achieved much to end the cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals: the banning of hunting with dogs, securing an end to cosmetic testing on animals, banning fur farming and introducing the Animal Welfare Act. The next Labour government will continue to lead the way on animal welfare, starting with six key commitments that build on our previous achievements at home and abroad."

She pledged that Labour would:

■   review the rules on breeding and selling dogs and cats
■   ban wild animals in circuses
■   end the badger cull, which has been taking place in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset for the last two years in an effort to stop the spread of bovine TB
■   defend the Hunting Act
■   reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates
■   lead the fight against global animal cruelty


Rt Hon Hilary Benn

MP for Leeds Central

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