Protecting our environment is one of my main priorities as your MP, and I am pleased that the UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world.
I'm encouraged that the Prime Minister shares my concerns, and that the Government is taking action on animal welfare. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently setting in place new schemes which would reward farmers for environmental stewardship, and for improving the health and welfare of animals.
There is no place in this country for animal cruelty, and we must ensure that those who abuse animals are met with the full force of the law. As vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Environment, I am pleased that the Government remains committed to introducing legislation which will increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty from six months to five years' imprisonment.
I am also pleased to report that a new law passed last year will ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. The Government will also be running consultations on proposals to ban long journeys of live animals being transported for slaughter, and restrictions on trade in hunting trophies from endangered animals.