Ruth George Statement on Animal Welfare

As someone who keeps animals, including rescued animals, I have a lifelong commitment to animal welfare and the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Animals in our food chain need protection. Domestic animals require stronger protection from cruelty. Wild animals need a sustainable ecosystem.

Our stewardship of the environment needs to be founded on sound principles and based on scientific assessment.

Labour’s vision is for the UK to lead the world with high animal welfare standards in the wild, in farming and with domestic animals.

Labour’s manifesto includes specific commitments to:

    • Cease the badger cull which spreads bovine TB
    • Ban the third party sale of puppies
    • Introduce a total ban on ivory trading
    • Support the ban on wild animals in circuses
    • Ensure that all EU animal welfare legislation is protected and transferred to UK law
    • Maintain the ban on hunting with hounds – and I would like to see the Hunting
    • Act strengthened to close loopholes so it is effective
    • Whilst the other issues of animal welfare are not specifically in the manifesto, it does not mean that Labour will not support them and I commit to:
  1. Maintain or increase investment levels in stopping illegal wildlife trade through the Border Force CITES team and the National Wildlife Crime Unit
  2. Introduce tougher sentencing guidance for illegal wildlife trade offences
  3. Pledge to end commercial whaling using all available diplomatic and legislative channels

We will also protect wildlife by defending and extending existing environmental protections.

We will champion sustainable farming, food and fishing by investing in and promoting skills, technology, market access and innovation.

Only a Labour government will prioritise a sustainable, long term future for our farming, fishing and food industries, invest in rural and coastal communities and guarantee the protection and advancement of environmental standards. The Conservatives’ record on combatting climate change and environmental damage has been one of inaction and broken promises.

Labour will introduce a new Clean Air Act to deal with the Tory legacy of illegal air quality.

We will establish Blue Belts in the seas and oceans surrounding our island.

We will set guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste.

We will protect our bees by banning neonicotinoids.

We will work with farmers and foresters to plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better flood management and, unlike the Conservatives who attempted to privatise them, Labour will keep our forests in public hands.