It was very concerning that the Conservatives initially voted against an amendment that would have enshrined animal sentience into UK law after we leave the EU. I, along with my Labour colleagues, voted in favour of this amendment.
I am pleased that the Environment Secretary has taken steps to ensure that animal sentience will be recognised in the future. This change in policy was brought about by pressure from the thousands who signed petitions on this matter.
I firmly believe that we should seek to strengthen safeguards for animal welfare in UK law – both in terms of continuing to recognise that animals do indeed feel pain and emotions, and in legislating for tougher sentences in cases of animal cruelty.
I will always stand up in Parliament for the rights and welfare of animals.