On Monday 25th October, I spoke during the debate on the Second Reading of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill.

The Bill covers various key pieces of legislation that will protect animals in the future.

I spoke of my support for part 1 of the Bill relating to primates and the rules for keeping of them.

I have my concerns over the outright banning of things and therefore welcome that the Government will have the flexibility through legislation to take into consideration individual circumstances for higher creatures such as primates.

I also wholly welcome part 2 of the Bill, which relates to dogs attacking or worrying livestock.

This is sadly a regular occurrence in North Herefordshire and something that causes great distress to both the animals and of course farmers who care deeply for their livestock.

The issue lies with dogs and their owners.

Dog walkers want extra access to the countryside; so, it is only right that in return people must be more considerate about how their dogs behave and ideally have them on a lead.

Part 2 of the Bill will take firm action to protect livestock in England and Wales from dog attacks.

This will protect our hard-working farmers from incurring uninsured financial costs and ease the burden of uncertainty this causes.

I am deeply concerned about the banning of live exports for slaughter.

The beneficiaries will be supermarkets and the Republic of Ireland.

The Government should not be in the business of banning but of licensing as I mentioned earlier.

Only then can the highest level of animal welfare be achieved. Sadly, instead, I am sure these sheep will now go through Ireland and make a much longer journey to France and Spain.

This legislation, while well-intentioned, is too full of loopholes.

That is why licensing is much better than bans which allow the unscrupulous to win and I look forward to the legislation being ironed out in Committee stage.

Finally, I spoke of the puppy smuggling trade.

I appealed to those considering getting a dog to look at adoption.

There is no better way of ruining the market for illegal puppies than simply getting them from the plentiful rehoming centres and charities.

I look forward to seeing this key piece of legislation progress through Parliament and I will of course be keeping a key eye on it as it does so.

To watch the full speech, please click here.