Local MP Luke Hall, last week met with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, to discuss proposals to strengthen legal protections for domestic and farm animals.
Luke has been a strong advocate of animal rights throughout his time in Parliament, leading a debate on banning the Ivory Trade in the UK, formerly serving on the Environment Audit Select Committee, and providing his unwavering support to plans to reduce the prevalence of single-use plastics which are harmful to both wildlife and marine life.
With Government currently in the process of considering a new Animal Welfare Bill, Luke took the opportunity to raise concerns about cases where defendants are still able to acquire new livestock, whilst still under investigation for the mistreatment of animals. He therefore asked Michael Gove to investigate the possibility of giving Courts the power to grant injunctions which prevent such people from acquiring new animals, during the interim period.
Commenting on the current situation, Luke said; “As an animal lover, protecting the welfare of all animals is of the utmost importance to me personally. Since becoming a Member of Parliament I have seen a number of deeply distressing cases, and it is vital that we do everything possible to prevent avoidable mistreatment. I was delighted to see that there are plans to extend the maximum prison sentence for those convicted of animal cruelty from six months, as it is currently, to five years, and this is a fantastic opportunity to go further.”
Speaking about the impact which this would have for our own rural community, local Councillor Matthew Riddle commented; ‘it is important to protect domestic animals and farm livestock from risk of further harm, while a court case is being prepared and heard. The processes of the law can be long. Also, there is a great cost in officer time to local councils and therefore to local Council Taxpayers, and the RSPCA, where animal cruelty continues after charges have been made.’