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About The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation

An independent organisation which seeks to help advance farm animal welfare

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) was established in 2016

cows farm animal welfare

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation was established in 2016 to raise awareness on the lives of billions of animals reared on intensive farms around the world and how this impacts upon animal welfare, the environment and people’s health. We want to highlight the action people can take to help advance farm animal welfare.

We are a grassroots-driven movement, whose Founders have organised several animal welfare events with MP Hosts since 2010 in both the House of Commons and at Conservative party conferences in the UK.

You can download our leaflet here to find out more about our team, our Patrons and our work

Why Does it Matter?

Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the general public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards

We believe it’s highly important that the welfare of farm animals is placed at the forefront of the Governments plan for food and farming along with its focus on productivity, competitiveness and technology.

Each year around 70 billion animals are farmed for meat, milk and eggs worldwide, (2.3 billion in the EU), with about 25,000 slaughtered every minute. 

The conditions under which the animals are raised, vary significantly. UK welfare standards are amongst the highest in the world but standards elsewhere may be lower, leading to significant unnecessary pain and suffering for millions of sentient beings.

Each year around 70 billion animals are farmed for meat, milk and eggs worldwide (2.3 billion in the EU) with about 25,000 slaughtered every minute.

Our People

Discover more about the people at the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.
chris-conservative-animal-welfare-foundation (2)

Chris Platt – Founder

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation is an independent organisation which seeks to help advance farm animal welfare. The organisation was co-founded by a Conservative Association vice president and has Conservative MP Patrons.

It has two Co-Founders – Chris is the present vice president of a Surrey Conservative Party Association and the former Chairman. Chris worked in international finance before moving full time onto the board of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation. 

Chris works on the daily operations and provides strategic oversight to the campaigns and corporate management to the organisation.

Lorraine Platt

Lorraine Platt – Founder

Lorraine is a former Vice Chairman of a leading animal welfare charity, was awarded the International Fund For Animal Welfare 2012 Award presented at a reception in the House of Lords, was a shortlist finalist for the Inspiration Awards For Women Award 2013, was awarded the RSPCA Lord Erskine Silver Award 2014 and was awarded a finalist award in the Ceva Animal Welfare Awards 2016.

Lorraine is the public face of our campaigning providing strategy decisions and is responsible for directing the daily operations of the campaigns.

Sophia Stileman web

Sophia Stileman – Head of Communications and Public Affairs

Sophia has worked as a political consultant for several years, first at Westbourne Communications and later Atlas Partners. She is passionate about animal welfare, having most recently worked on Humane Society International UK’s Fur Free Britain campaign. In 2019 she was awarded the PRCA’s Best Young Political Consultant in the UK.

Her involvement in conservative politics stems from university, having sat on the Executive Committee of the University of Warwick Conservative Association while studying for her BA in Politics. During this time she co-founded ‘Generative Conservative’, the youth contingent of the oldest conservative think-tank in the UK, the Bow Group.

Ems Bar CAWF

Ems Barr – Political Advisor

Ems Barr is the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation’s Political Adviser. A former Special Adviser to the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Head of Communications for the Centre for Policy Studies and CCHQ Press Officer.

Working with Westminster decision makers of all political persuasions Ems supports Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation’s many high profile campaigns which help to advance animal welfare.

Steve McCulloch - Head of Research

Dr Steven McCulloch – Head of Research

Steven McCulloch is Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Studies at the Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Winchester. Steven qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University and holds a BA Philosophy from Birkbeck College, London University. He has a PhD from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, for his thesis ‘The British animal health and welfare policy process: accounting for the interests of sentient species’.

He is a diplomat of European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine and a recognised veterinary specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law. Steven’s research is focused on science, ethics, and policy of animal protection.

Our Patrons

Sir David Amess

Sir David Amess MP 1952-2021 - A Giant Animal Welfare Champion

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.

Lord Goldsmith

The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith

Minister for Asia, Pacific and Oceania, and International Environment, Climate, Forests and Health.

Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith is passionate about the environment and animal welfare. Zac has built a reputation as one of the country’s most formidable campaigners on green issues. He has championed a range of environmental causes, highlighting among other things, the concern of climate change.

Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith was the Editor of the Ecologist Magazine for 10 years and received Mikhail Gorbachev’s Global Green Award for ‘International Environmental Leadership.’

Theresa Villiers

The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Former Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers is the MP for Chipping Barnet and has long campaigned to advance farm animal welfare. Theresa led the Westminster Hall debate on improving farm animal welfare in farming in January 2017 and led a Bill to end live animal exports for slaughter in 2018. 

Theresa served as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from July 2019 – February 2020, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 2012-2016, Minister of State for Transport 2010-2012 and as an MEP from 1999 – 2005.


Rt Hon Sir Roger Gale MP

Sir Roger has been involved in the promotion of animal welfare since he first entered the House of Commons. He served first on the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Bill Committee and was the founding Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments. (FRAME)

He served for six years as the Chairman of the All-Party Group for Animal Welfare and during that time generated trail- blazing reports into puppy farming and in 1997, the use of performing wild animals in circuses. He also campaigned with eventual success for the reform of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Roger continues to ensure that these matters have their rightful place within the political thinking of the Conservative Party and also works with our Members of the European Parliament to promote the cause of Europe-wide solutions to animal welfare issues such as religious slaughter and the use of animals in medical experiments. He is the President of Conservative Animal Welfare, an Honorary member of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Chairman of Trustees, The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad.


Lady Suzy Gale

Lady Suzy Gale has worked in Animal Welfare for many years. Initially supporting her husband Roger, in his work for the All-Party Animal Welfare Group in the Houses of Parliament, and subsequently developed her own animal welfare programme and interests.

Suzy is the Founder of Animal Worldwide to support small neutering projects and groups in the UK and worldwide to help undernourished and ill-treated cats, dogs and donkeys.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP

Henry Smith is the MP for Crawley and the Co-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare in the House of Commons. Henry has led a number of important debates on animal welfare including the need for CCTV in all slaughterhouses. Henry has hosted many animal welfare events.

Henry is the deputy Chairman for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Veganism and Vegetarianism. The first meeting took place in December 2016 in the House of Commons and was attended by MPs, Peers, NGOs and members of the public.


Carrie Johnson

Carrie worked for the Conservative Party and in government for over 6 years, and is the former Director of Communications for the Conservative Party. Carrie has been a Patron of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation since 2017. She worked as special adviser for Sajid Javid at the Department of Communities and Local Government and was also special adviser for John Whittingdale at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Carrie has worked hard to promote recent Conservatives policies on the ivory ban, CCTV in slaughterhouses, increasing sentences for animal cruelty, banning of microbeads and animal sentience.

Carrie has spoken at the March Against Whaling in January 2019 and against trophy hunting at BirdFair in August 2019. Carrie spoke at our 2019 fringe event ‘What Next For Farm Animal Welfare’ held jointly with CIWF hosted by our Patron Sir David Amess MP.
John Flack, Former MP

John Flack Former MEP

John is the Vice President of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup. John is a strong voice for animal welfare in the European Parliament and in the UK. John launched his book on Animal Welfare Issues ‘Animals Can’t Vote But You Can’ at our fringe event at the party conference on 1 October 2018.

The book urges for an end to live animal exports, unethical animal attractions, an end to non-stun slaughter, fur farms, foie gras, trophy hunting and much more.

Elise Dunwebber

Elise Dunweber

Elise is the Chairman of Esher & Walton Conservative Women’s Organisation. Elise was Councillor for Oxshott & Stoke D’Abernon for 5 years, she has also spent 3 years on the Parliamentary List and stood as a Candidate in the General Election in 2015. Elise is a Founder Member of EWCWO and is Creative Director of Lifestyle Brand Elskerlife.

Elise has organised three animal welfare events for the Esher & Walton Conservative Women’s organisation whose Speakers on this issue include Sir David Amess MP, John Flack MEP, Bill Oddie, Dominic Dyer and Lorraine Platt.

Stanley Johnson

Stanley Johnson

Stanley Johnson has campaigned on animal welfare for over 40 years. As a Member of the European Parliament, he was Vice-Chairman of the Environment Committee and Founder-Chair of the All-Party Group on Animal Welfare.

Stanley is a trustee of the Gorilla Organisation and a board member of Plantlife International. In 1983 he received the RSPCA Richard Martin Award for Outstanding Services to animal welfare, and in 1984 he received the Greenpeace Award for Outstanding Services to the Environment. He is an ambassador for the UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals based in Bonn, Germany.

Stanley has supported our campaigns including our parliamentary reception to end live animal exports and was a Speaker at our fringe event at the Party conference in September 2019.

Tracey Crouch, MP

Tracey Crouch, MP

Tracey was first elected to Parliament in 2010 as the MP for Chatham and Aylesford. Prior to being an MP she ran the Pet Advisory Committee.

Tracey has a strong background in fighting for animal welfare in Parliament and has spoken out many times again the badger cull, fox hunting and many other animal welfare issues. Tracey is a Patron of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (Blue Fox) and President of RSPCA Medway.

Tracey served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Heritage and Tourism 2015 – 2017 and Parliamentary Under Secretary for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness 2017-2018.


Chris Loder, MP

Chris Loder was elected to Parliament in 2019 following a twenty year railway career. He is a Transport Select Committee member, Chairman of the APPG on SWR and Trustee of the Jurassic Coast Trust. Born in Sherborne, Chris is a fourth generation farmer’s son and was raised just outside the town on his parents’ beef farm.

An animal welfare advocate, Chris introduced his Private Members’ Bill on Animal Welfare (Sentencing) to Parliament in February 2020. The Bill, which had its second reading in October, makes provision for the maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be increased from six months to up to five years.

Chris is also leading a campaign to ban the live export of animals and is calling for an end to the non-stun slaughter of animals.

Michael Gove -CAWF Patron

The Rt Hon. Michael Gove, MP

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

The Rt Hon. Michael Gove has been the Conservative MP for Surrey Heath since 2005. During this time, he held a number of leading cabinet positions, including most recently his appointment as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP’s cabinet, a position he also held between September 2021 and July 2022. Prior to this he was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from July 2019 to September 2021, and Minister for the Cabinet Office from February 2020 to September 2021. He was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from June 2017 to July 2019.

He has also served as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary for the Treasury, as well as Secretary of State for Education.During Michael Gove’s tenure as Secretary of State for Defra, he championed key environmental and animal welfare measures including ending live animal exports for fattening and slaughter. He has also spoken at CAWF events, including at a joint reception with the Conservative Environment Network in 2017.

Caroline Dinenage - CAWF Patron

Dame Caroline Dinenage, Baroness Lancaster of Kimbolton, DBE MP

Dame Caroline Dinenage DBE MP, is the Conservative MP for Gosport, a position she has held since 2010. During this time, she has held a number of ministerial positions. Mostly recently between February 2020 and September 2021, she served as Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Prior to this Caroline was Minister of State for Social Care between January 2018 and February 2020, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance between June 2017 and January 2018. She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and Early Years from May 2015 to June 2017.

Anna Firth, MP - CAWF Patron

Anna Firth, MP

Anna Firth is the Conservative MP for Southend West, a position she has held since her election in December 2021.

Since her election she has spearheaded a campaign to make dog-on-dog attacks a criminal offence, and she also spoke at Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation’s World Animal Day reception in memory of Sir David Amess at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. 

In September 2022 this year she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Department for International Trade. Prior to becoming an MP Anna was a councillor on Sevenoaks District Council from 2011 until her election in 2021.

Ben Gascoigne

Lord Gascoigne

Lord Gascoigne has an impressive record serving in key roles within the Conservative Party. He served as Political Secretary to Prime Minister Boris Johnson from 2019 to 2021 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2021 to 2022, during which time several key animal welfare measures were delivered such as the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act. Previously, he was also a Special Adviser in the Foreign Office from 2016 to 2018.

In 2023, he was nominated for a life peerage and was created Lord Gascoigne. He was introduced to the House of Lords in July 2023, and became a Patron of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation in September 2023.


Jane Stevenson, MP

Before standing for Parliament in 2019, Jane worked as a freelance classical singer and was also a local councillor in her home city of Wolverhampton. She now serves on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and is a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for Business and Trade.

Jane Stevenson is a champion for animal welfare. In 2021 she introduced the Glue Traps (Offences) Act which will end the use of cruel glue traps. She has also vocally supported CAWF Patron Henry Smith MP’s Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill and several other key campaigns including ending live exports for fattening and slaughter and tackling pet theft. Jane hosted the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation ‘World Animal Day’ Conservative Party Conference Reception in memory of the late Sir David Amess MP in 2022. Jane became a Patron of CAWF in October 2023.


Baroness Fookes DBE

Baroness Fookes was a Conservative MP for 27 years, first for Merton and Morden in 1970 and later for Plymouth Drake from 1974 to 1997. During this time, she served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons from 1992 to 1997 and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1989. In 1997 she was made a Life Peer as Baroness Fookes and became Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex in 2001.

Having seen 12 Prime Ministers in Downing Street, she has had an exceptionally long career in both Houses and continues to be fully active in bringing to the fore many issues relating to animal welfare. She served on the Council of the RSPCA from 1975 to 1992 and was its Chair from 1979 to 1981.

As an MP, Baroness Fookes was one of the first to speak out against the cruel live export trade. In recent years, she has steered the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill (now Act) through the House of Lords. She also took on sponsorship of the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill in the House of Lords from Patron Henry Smith MP who had successfully piloted through all its stages.