Wildlife Crime — [Andrew Rosindell in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:29 pm on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:29 pm, 20th March 2019

We have just heard the new figures for hen harriers. It is incredibly important that these issues are taken seriously, recorded properly and acted upon if we are to stop that kind of wildlife crime.

I want to reiterate the commitment that Labour made on Boxing day: in government, we will strengthen the Hunting Act by closing the loopholes through a number of key measures. We will consult on: reviewing sentencing to ensure that effective deterrence includes the use of custodial sentencing, in line with other wildlife crimes; strengthening the criteria for issuing research licences; removing the exemption on the use of dogs below ground to protect birds for shooting, as it risks appalling fights between dogs and wild mammals; and introducing a recklessness clause—hon. Members have talked about that today—to prevent trail hunting being used as a cover for the illegal hunting of wild animals.