Amendment 71

Part of Agriculture Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 10:30 pm on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 10:30 pm, 17th September 2020

My Lords, I intend to speak briefly, but in doing so I thank the noble Baronesses, Lady Fookes and Baroness Hodgson, for these amendments. As the noble Baroness, Lady Fookes, reminded us, she has been a lifelong campaigner on these issues and I pay tribute to her infamous doggedness and determination.

Noble Lords will recall that I spoke in favour of similar issues in Committee, and nothing I have heard then or since has dissuaded me from my view that exporting live animals is cruel and unnecessary. The noble Baronesses have once again illustrated the appalling animal cruelty that occurs in long-distance transport, whether through accident or deliberate neglect. It is clear that the occasional stories which appear in the press are symptomatic of a much deeper and endemic problem.

In Committee, the Minister reassured the House that the Government are actively considering how to take forward their manifesto pledge to end long journeys for animal slaughtering and fattening, whether in the UK or abroad. We welcome that commitment and look forward to receiving more details. The Minister also warned that the issues were complex, and we acknowledge that. But I sincerely hope that this will not be used as a reason for inaction, as he can be assured that the British public have high expectations in this regard. So I hope he is able to reassure us tonight that progress is being made and that the Government do now have a plan to deliver that manifesto commitment.