On 29 June, Parliament held a debate on Westminster Hall debate on dog fighting.
I want the Government – and every Government – committed to stamping out this vile practice.
Dog fighting is an organised, secretive, criminal activity, which causes the brutalisation, injury and death of dogs for the entertainment of their owners. Dog fighting often involves large scale betting on fights; and is links to the illegal sale of dogs bred for fighting. Only a few dozen prosecutions occur each year, and there is a good case for the current maximum sentence (51 weeks imprisonment in England, 1 year in Scotland) to be increased.
I am strong supporter of animal welfare and supported a number of laws to tackle crime against animals during the Labour Government.
I backed legislation to ban hunting with dogs, and an overhaul of all animal cruelty legislation, which included making neglect of animals (leaving them to get starve or get ill) a criminal offence.
My only family pet was an RSPCA rescue dog and I have always supported their work prosecuting an investigating these kind of crimes.
I am very proud of Labour’s record on animal welfare. I believe there is wide support across parties, and recognition from Government that this vile activity must be driven from our society.