Yesterday I was proud to attend the League Against Cruel Sports reception in Parliament. I feel extremely strongly about animal welfare, it is a hugely important issue to me and one I have sought to champion.
I am, and always have been, for the ban. Hunting is an inherently cruel. I will remain vigilant to any attempts from the Tories to sneak through a repeal of the Hunting Act.
But there is more to be done for animal welfare. Dog fighting is one of the most horrific forms of animal cruelty. There are needs for improvements in how these crimes are recorded and policed, a real need for more collaboration between the authorities involved as well as the need for more investigative work to uncover its networks and secrets.
Furthermore, when it comes to animal cruelty, England and Wales currently have some of the most lenient laws in Europe. The current maximum sentence is 6 months and has remained unchanged since 1911. I believe that sentencing should increase to bring it into line with other countries. The sentencing should reflect the severity of the crime.