Angela joins World Animal Protection to save the National Wildlife Crime Unit
Angela Smith this week offered her support World Animal Protection in their campaign to save one of the world’s leading police departments – the National Wildlife Crime Unit.
In the UK our native wildlife is targeted for profit and entertainment, with animals being harmed and persecuted in devastating ways. Rare bird egg theft, illegal deer poaching, hare coursing and indiscriminate cruelty to wild animals are just some of the problems faced by wildlife crime police around the UK.
But, following the Spending Review the future of the unit is under threat. Ministers have confirmed a decision, either way, will be made by the end of January, meaning in only a matter of weeks their work could face complete collapse.
Many Ministers repeatedly use the work of the Unit to demonstrate the Government’s successful commitment to tackling wildlife crime, yet they won’t confirm that the NWCU will be saved with money from their £13 million pound budget.
Commenting Angela, said: “The Government has made much of their £13 million package to combat the illegal wildlife trade internationally. The National Wildlife Crime Unit only requires a fraction of this budget every year, with Defra and the Home Office currently paying £136k each. This continues to be a small amount to pay for such a vital unit, particularly in contrast to the millions being spent on global projects.”
“Police forces up and down the UK rely on the specialist knowledge of the NWCU in order to tackle wildlife criminals. It is time for the UK Government to step up and save the National Wildlife Crime Unit.“
Angela helps raise the awareness of Puppy smuggling
Last week the Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity took the opportunity to highlight the UK’s growing puppy smuggling problem to a host of MPs at its annual House of Commons reception hosted by Sir Roger Gale MP and supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Local MP, Angela Smith, attended the event.
Angela Smith MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said,
“I am pleased to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the issue of illegal puppy smuggling - something which affects many people in my constituency each year. Not only is this issue affecting unwitting members of the public who are buying puppies without knowing where in the world they have come from, but it also brings with it a risk of disease to humans and dogs, which is simply unacceptable. There are also the huge welfare concerns for the puppies being transported such long distances at such a young age. It’s evident that greater measures need to be put in place to deter people from smuggling puppies into this country illegally.”
Following its initial report into puppy smuggling in November 2014, Dogs Trust this year conducted its second in-depth investigative report focused on the puppies travelling illegally into Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Dogs Trust found substantial evidence that underage puppies are still regularly entering the country on false documentation and are subsequently sold to unsuspecting consumers.
Despite recent changes to the PETS designed to strengthen the scheme, the report found evidence of;
$1· Ineffective border controls and enforcement of PETS at British ports, with no requirement on enforcers to carry out even a basic sight check on the animal being imported
$1· Dogs Trust managed to transport a stuffed toy with a pet passport three times without anyone noticing the dog was not alive
$1· Breeders and dealers from Lithuania and Romania using the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) for the commercial importation of puppies to Great Britain, it is just for owned pets
$1· Breeders and dealers from Lithuania and Romania supplying young puppies under 12 weeks of age – the legal age at which puppies can be vaccinated against rabies – with dates of birth simply being faked on pet passports
$1· Vets in Lithuania and Romania falsifying data on pet passports for PETS
$1· Puppies bred in horrendous conditions in Eastern Europe
$1· Puppies from Eastern Europe advertised online with no reference to their countries of origin
To emphasise how easily unethical dealers are able to bring underage, sickly, or undocumented puppies into Great Britain, MPs were invited to take part in a photo opportunity which saw them standing in front of a giant fake pet passport. They were surrounded by toy puppies that Dogs Trust smuggled through Britain’s ports as part of their investigation, to illustrate the ineffectiveness of patrols at the ports.
Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO, says:
“Dogs Trust’s famous slogan A dog is for life, not just for Christmas is 37 years old but it is still, sadly, as relevant as ever with puppies available to buy at the click of a button online. As we approach the festive period, I would like to remind anyone thinking of getting a dog to do their research and ensure they know where their dog is coming from before making the decision to bring a four legged friend into their home. Dog lovers could inadvertently be lining the pockets of unscrupulous breeders and fuelling the illegal puppy smuggling trade.
“Dogs Trust would like to see far more being done to ensure that proper checks at ports are enforced, that on the spot fines are handed out to those individuals smuggling puppies illegally to act as a deterrent and that a nationwide multi-agency strategy is put in place to deal with this issue once and for all.”
Jo Bucci, Managing Director of People’s Postcode Lottery, added:
“I am delighted that the funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has helped to ensure Dogs Trust is able to carry out important work like this. I hope this event helps to raise further awareness of this issue and bring about some effective change for the welfare of dogs.”
Angela's Christmas card winners 2015
For a selection of photos of the prize giving please << click here >>
Local school children collected prizes in Angela’s annual and popular Christmas Card Competition this Saturday, December 5th 2015. The competition run in conjunction with local primary schools provides Angela with her official Christmas card and the chance for the lucky winners to have their picture printed on it.
Commenting on competition, Angela said; “I would like to thank all those children who took part in this year’s competition and also all the schools who allowed children to take part. A special thank you must also go out to all the companies who donated the money which made it all possible, especially those who kindly supplied superb prizes.”
The winning cards have now gone out to almost 2000 people, both within the constituency and further afield, including the Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn MP. Well done to everyone who took part!”
Other winners received amongst other things Skating tickets donated by SIV.