London, 3rd October 2023
Yesterday (Monday 2nd October) evening the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) held its World Farm Animal Day reception at Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
The reception was hosted by CAWF Patron Anna Firth MP, and included contributions from Defra Minister Rebecca Pow MP, former Secretary of State for Defra and CAWF Patron Theresa Villiers MP, former Home Office Minister Kevin Foster MP, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Meghan Gallacher MSP, and animal welfare champion Jane Stevenson MP.
Speakers from left to right: Meghan Gallacher MSP, Defra Minister Rebecca Pow MP, host and CAWF Patron Anna Firth MP, Kevin Foster MP, and Patron Theresa Villiers MP.
Many guests including MPs, MSPs, NGOs, charities and media attended the Chester Suite at the Midland Hotel in support of World Farm Animal Day. CAWF was delighted that world renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes joined as a special guest, in support of Patron Henry Smith MP’s Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill currently being led by Baroness Fookes in the House of Lords.
In her opening speech Anna Firth MP said that “with a General Election on the horizon, we must turn our eyes to some of the world leading animal welfare commitments included in the Conservative Manifesto which are still in the process of being delivered” and highlighted ending live exports for fattening and slaughter, as well as Patron Henry Smith MP’s Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill currently being led in the House of Lords by Baroness Fookes. She also spoke on her Private Member’s Bill ‘Emilie’s Law’ which would criminalise fatal dog-on-dog attacks and is due to receive its Second Reading next month.
Host Anna Firth MP addresses guests (left) and pictured with renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes (right) supporting an end to trophy hunting imports.
Defra Minister Rebecca Pow MP spoke next, where she praised the Conservatives’ record on animal welfare in recent years. She said that there are many MPs in “our Party who stand up for animals”, and listed a number of achievements which included the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act, the introduction of CCTV in slaughterhouses, the Shark Fins Act, and the recent Animals (Low Welfare Activities Abroad) Act, and more.
Defra Minister Rebecca Pow MP (left) addresses guests
CAWF Patron and former Secretary of State for Defra Theresa Villiers MP then spoke on ending live exports for fattening and slaughter – a campaign she worked hard to raise awareness of in her time as Secretary of State. She said that “we need the Government to reintroduce legislation to make it happen” and pledged to “keep up the fight to end this cruel trade once and for all”. She also spoke in support of the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill, describing the import of hunting trophies as “repellent”.
Patron Theresa Villiers addresses guests (left) and pictured with CAWF Co-Founder Lorraine Platt (right) supporting an end to live exports
Former Home Office Minister and Assistant Whip Kevin Foster MP praised the Conservatives for the inclusion of many important animal welfare measures in the 2019 Manifesto. He said that these commitments, which include an end to live exports for fattening and slaughter and ending trophy hunting imports, must be delivered before the next General Election.
Kevin Foster MP pictured (left) speaking and with Sir Ranulph Fiennes (right) supporting an end to trophy hunting imports
Guests also heard from Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Meghan Gallacher spoke on the role of Scottish Conservatives holding the Scottish Government to account on animal welfare. She said that “Scottish Conservatives are leading the way” on several Bills including dog theft, and highlighted important farm animal welfare campaigns she supports, such as ending cages for laying hens.
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Meghan Gallacher MSP addresses guests (left) and pictured with Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Esher and Walton John Cope (right).
Finally, animal welfare champion Jane Stevenson MP spoke on a number of animal welfare issues, including her Glue Traps (Offences) Act which will come into effect in the months ahead. She told guests that “animals matter” and pledged to continue standing up for campaigns including pet theft and ending live exports for fattening and slaughter.
Jane Stevenson MP addresses guests (left) and supports an end to live exports (right)
Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, commented: “We were delighted to hold our World Farm Animal Day reception yesterday. It was brilliant to hear from a range of impressive speakers including Defra Minister Rebecca Pow MP, who spoke on the Government’s record delivering animal welfare.
“We would like to express our thanks to Anna Firth MP for hosting this important reception, as well as Defra Minister Rebecca Pow MP and all of our other speakers including our Patron Theresa Villiers MP, Kevin Foster MP, Meghan Gallacher MSP and Jane Stevenson MP.”
About Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF)
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 impact upon animal welfare, the environment and people’s health. We want to highlight the action people can take to help advance farm animal welfare.
Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards.
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation believes it is 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.
Media contact: Sophia Stileman (email@example.com)