Feb 14

Dawn Butler

As part of a caring society we as the Labour Party must ensure that we take animal welfare extremely seriously. It is the number one issue that I am contacted about and rightly so, which is why it must continue to form a vital part of Labour’s progressive policy platform.

As the proud owner of a 20 year old cat, named Salsa, animal welfare is an issue close to my heart. I strongly support the ban on fox hunting and have joined the likes of Brian May on many campaigns to keep it in place and will continue to fight any attempt by the Tories to scrap it!

I proudly stood in 2019 on the most progressive and comprehensive set of animal welfare policies ever developed by the party. No animal should suffer needlessly, and I fully supported Labour’s Animal Welfare Manifesto.

The Labour Party demonstrated these principles in government with pioneering legislation such as the Hunting Act and the Animal Welfare Act. Whilst however Parliament has legislated, I believe that we have fallen short when it comes to enforcement which is why we were right to commit to strengthening animal welfare laws in the UK.

Often police forces do not always have the expertise to pursue breaches in animal welfare legislation, or the resources to do so, which is why I support LAWS commitment for Police Forces to have specialist animal welfare knowledge and officers.

It is also a concern that no specific body has any statutory duty to enforce the Animal Welfare Act which makes it an offence to cause unnecessary physical or mental harm to an animal. I fully support our commitment to appoint an Animal Welfare Commissioner to ensure animal welfare standards are always considered as part of all legislation.

We cannot however do any of these things without a Labour government.

That is why I will be a campaigning Deputy Leader ensuring we prepare our party for power. I will ensure we have paid organisers working at the heart of communities, including rural areas and towns, from the South-West to Scotland. I am determined that this be the last time we lose and will ensure all members have access to the training and resources they need to lead the fightback.

I believe the Leader and Deputy must work together to deliver a Labour government. I have served under two Labour Prime Ministers and proudly served in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet. I never have, and never will be part of a coup because divided parties do not win elections.

I understand the pressures of being in government as the first elected black woman in the UK to be a Minister. That inclusivity and experience is vital in Labour’s top team.

As Deputy Leader, I will ensure we have the right strategy, vision and a plan to prepare for power. I have the experience to lead the party to electoral victory so that we may enact the most progressive agenda for animal welfare ever seen.