Campaigning and the new government - your views matter

We’re a few weeks into the new parliamentary session and focussed on making sure animal welfare is high on the agenda.

With so many important issues to address from the puppy trade to farm animal welfare, we asked our campaign supporters what their animal welfare priorities would be if they were in government.

A huge thank you to everyone who responded, over 600 of you! We want to share some of the results and update you on what we’re doing now that a new government is in place.

Fox hunting

Red fox outdoors. © Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA Photolibrary

“I would like to ensure that fox hunting remains banned.” - RSPCA Campaigner

Fox hunting was at the forefront of everyone’s mind as the Conservative manifesto included a free vote on the Hunting Act. Behind the scenes, we were busy working on a campaign to protect the ban.

It has since been confirmed that the Hunting Act is safe, for now. Rest assured that protecting the Hunting Act will always be a priority for us.

Tougher sentencing

Inspector checking on Shetland pony © RSPCA Photolibrary

“If I were in government I would insist all animal abusers were given much tougher sentences.” - RSPCA Campaigner

Sentencing and tougher penalties for animal cruelty offenders was also another huge concern for our campaigners. And we agree. We receive a phone call about animal cruelty every 27 seconds.

The maximum penalty for the most serious animal abuse cases is just six months custodial and/or an unlimited fine. A person found guilty of selling fake DVDs could get a higher sentence than a person kicking a dog down the stairs. This is not acceptable.

In light of this, and your views, we have a new campaign that we’d love for you to get behind, calling for tougher sentencing.

Brexit

“I’d make sure legislation regarding animals stay or become even better after Brexit.” - RSPCA Campaigner

And, of course, many of our campaigners were concerned about Brexit and what this means for animal welfare.

Our public affairs team has started getting in touch with MPs and the new Government and talking to them about our campaigns and priorities for animal welfare over the next five years.

With the Queen’s Speech setting the political agenda, we know that we’re going to be focusing on Brexit and all the risks and opportunities it presents – including on key issues that we know you care about like slaughter without pre-stunning and live transport.

With many animal welfare laws being passed to our neighbours in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, our team in Wales continue to speak with Assembly Members and call for change through the the National Assembly for Wales.

What we’re doing

The Agriculture Bill gives us a once in a generation opportunity to fundamentally change the way our agriculture systems work so that they support British farmers to improve animal welfare and reward those who are doing the best. Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be meeting with MPs from all parties and Government Ministers to talk to them about Brexit and animal welfare.

We’ll also be hosting a number of events in Parliament and at party conferences too. And, whilst Brexit is the big issue at the moment, we’ll still be working with AMs, MPs, Ministers and other policymakers on all of our campaign issues including tougher sentencing for animal abusers and overhauling the way that pet sales and other animal activity is licensed.

It’s an exciting time to be engaging with politicians – there are so many opportunities to make big changes that will improve animal welfare for generations to come. But, we’ll need your help to achieve this. If you’ve not done so already, please sign up to our campaign updates. We’ll keep you informed of all the issues that matter to you as well as action to take for animals.

- Claire Williams – RSPCA Campaigns Officer

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