As a self-confessed animal lover I’m proud to be part of the Labour Party, the party for animal welfare and believe passionately that the way we treat our animals and pets speaks a lot about the society we live in.
Earlier this year Labour launched a radical action plan on animal welfare because for too long the issue has been ignored even though appetite for change among the general public is high. The proposals would look at introducing a ban on the live export of animals for slaughter, consulting landlords on giving tenants the right to keep a pet, strengthening the Hunting Act, enshrining the principal of animal sentience in law, ending the badger cull, implementing a review of animal testing and expanding affordable vet care for people and on low incomes.
Labour’s vision is one where no animal is made to suffer pain and one where we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding.
One of the most current issues around the animal welfare debate is over the use of electronic shock collars. For those who aren’t aware, shock collars are devices used to remotely or automatically deliver a shock to an animal via metal contacts with the neck, and are used by some people to try and correct problem behaviour in their dogs.
Although around a third (31%) of the public incorrectly believe shock collars are already illegal, the practise is shockingly still lawful in England. Whilst the use of these shock collars is banned in Wales, and Scotland has also made moves towards prohibiting the use of these cruel devices, England is dragging its heels.
That’s why I’m backing the Dogs Trust #ShockinglyLegal campaign which is urging the Government to ban the sale of electronic shock collars.
In Tameside we’re fortunate to house Manchester Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, located in Denton. The centre has a team of 40 dedicated canine carers, training and behaviour specialists, veterinary staff, and of course an army of volunteers, which give the dogs the best care possible whilst they await their new forever homes.
Dogs Trust Manchester opened in 2014 and to date has rehomed more than 3,000 dogs, with 197 new homes found in the three-months of 2018 alone!
But finding new homes for unwanted pets is not the only project that the Manchester Dogs Trust takes part in. Thousands of puppies are illegally smuggled into the UK each year and Dogs Trust works with the authorities to care for pups seized at the border and when they are ready, find them new loving families to help them get over their horrendously cruel and traumatising ordeal. Dogs Trust Manchester has cared for 37 of these smuggled pups all of which are the ‘designer’ breeds such as French Bulldogs, Pugs and Dachshunds.
But as well as finding homes for dogs and campaigning, there is also Dogs Trust Dog School Manchester which provides owners and dogs with essential training so they can live happily together and helps prevent dogs being handed over as their owners feel they cannot cope. Dogs Trust Dog School Manchester now trains around 70 dogs each week!
I’m proud to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the plight of illegally imported puppies, and in support of their campaign to end the cruel practise of shock collars, which have no place in today’s society.