Quizzing the Minister

We are en route to the House of Commons for the bi-monthly meeting of ‘APGAW‘ the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare. It’s an esteemed All Party Group, and well respected amongst government and parliament alike. Clerked by the RSPCA, the Group has published some excellent reports, including recent examples on greyhound racing  and pedigree dogs.

Tonight the DEFRA minister with responsibility for animal welfare, Jim Fitzpatrick, makes an appearance before the group. We have several issues for him, but not least a note of congratulation to DEFRA for taking such a brave stance with the current consultation on the welfare of gamebirds reared for ‘sporting purposes’. DEFRA actually want to see cages – like battery cages for hens – banned, and we agree.

But we’re far less happy with the proposed new guidelines on greyhound welfare and we are planning action on this imminently. We think they are a waste of time and they will do nothing for greyhound welfare in real terms. We’re also keen to know about what plans they have to review the ‘gamekeepers’s exemption’ in the Hunting Act which allows for legal dogfighting, or ‘terrierwork’ as the hunters like to call it.

It promises to be a busy evening and we will update you tomorrow on the outcomes.

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