Brighton and Hove MPs speak up for animal rights

Posted On 24 Jul 2011 at 11:13 pm

The Conservative MP for Hove Mike Weatherley has raised concerns about the badger cull which has been proposed to contain bovine tuberculosis.

Mr Weatherley said that he was worried that a vaccination programme was being overlooked in favour of a cull despite scientific evidence promoting vaccines.

A number of trials are under way and Mr Weatherley said that he would be looking closely at their results.

He said that he had actively promoted animal rights since his election to Parliament last year.

He added: “I am not at all inclined to support a badger cull – quite the opposite in fact.

“I am researching alternatives now but I do know that I will be placing huge emphasis on the welfare of badgers in line with the views of many of my constituents when I come to vote.”

His comments came as his fellow Conservative MP, Simon Kirby, who represents Brighton Kemptown, raised concerns about the issue of wild animals performing in circuses.

Mr Kirby has written to James Paice, the minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) who has responsibility for the issue.

Mr Kirby wrote to the minister to ask for an update on where matters stand regarding the move to introduce a blanket ban.

He was one of the MPs, along with Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, who put their names to a demand for a debate on the matter.

When the proposed ban was debated in the House of Commons, the motion was agreed without a vote.

Mr Kirby said: “I am not happy at the progress on introducing the ban which was called for by the House of Commons in June.

“I have seen correspondence from DEFRA stating that the legal issues are still being considered.

“To my mind, the House of Commons, on a cross-party basis, made it very clear indeed how it wanted the government to proceed on this matter and it is important the government hurries up.

“I have written to the minister seeking clarification on where matters stand and if I am not satisfied I shall be pressing the government to move forward as quickly as possible.”

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