We remember Sir David’s long and distinguished career. He was a first-class local MP and campaigner for almost four decades. A strong animal welfare champion, he stood up time and time again for those who have no voice. We feel incredibly thankful for the years he spent as our Patron.
Having first joined the Conservative Party at the age of just 16, Sir David Amess MP had a long and distinguished political career. He was the Conservative MP for Southend West since 1997, having previously represented Basildon since 1983 before boundary changes were implemented. Sir David campaigned over many years to make Southend a city, something he did not live to see but which has since become successful in the days after his death.
David was fearless in speaking out for the vulnerable and the voiceless for nearly four decades. He is well known by all animal welfare organisations for his tireless work to advance animal welfare issues.
He was passionate about animal welfare and led countless animal welfare campaigns in Parliament over his long career. He introduced the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act (1988) to help protect vulnerable horses, sponsoring the Horses and Ponies Bill in 1984-5, the Pet Animals Bill in 1990 and sponsoring the Responsible Pet Ownership Competition for MPs and Peers.
He later defied his own party to vote for Labour’s fox hunting ban legislation. David spoke out to protect this law when it was under the threat of repeal years later and was instrumental in leading the charge to unify anti-hunting Conservative MPs together as a strong force. He encouraged more Conservative MPs to join the Blue Foxes- the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting group of which he was a Patron for over 10 years.
Sir David has successfully campaigned to stop the unethical practice of testing domestic products on animals, tackled the illegal wildlife trade and fought to put an end to puppy farming. He was a prominent voice against the culling of badgers.
In more recent years as a patron for the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation he campaigned for a live animal export ban and he could often be seen at rallies and events to end the cruel and unnecessary practice which subjects calves and sheep to long stressful journeys abroad and will soon be banned, something which David worked for decades to help achieve. He also pushed for mandatory animal welfare labelling for years, helping to lead to Defra’s current call for evidence on this issue.
David worked tirelessly to end pig farrowing crates, cages for laying hens, trophy hunting imports, animal testing, the illegal wildlife trade puppy farming and much more. Indeed, he led a Ten-Minute Rule Bill- the Pig Husbandry (Farrowing) Bill to end cruel farrowing crates for sows earlier this year and co- sponsored a Private Members Bill led by fellow patron Henry Smith MP to end cages for laying hens informally known as Beatrice’s Bill.