Of all the reasons I’m contacted by constituents, it may not be a surprise that animal welfare issues are amongst the most frequent.
We’re a nation of animal lovers – in fact almost every other household in the UK owns a pet.
They give us comfort, company and companionship, and for many of us they’re simply part of the family.
It’s why I’m delighted so many constituents continue to contact me to stand up for animals who can’t do so themselves.
It’s why I’m proud that it was a Labour Government who brought forward the 2007 Animal Welfare Act – described as the single most important piece of animal welfare legislation in the last 100 years, and that it’s Labour who continue to lead the fight on animal welfare issues like fox hunting.
And it’s why I’m so pleased to continue working closely alongside the RSPCA as they do incredible work to help often defenceless and neglected animals.
Last year, they received over 4,500 complaints about animal welfare in South Yorkshire alone – including 1,100 in Barnsley.
Across the country, they receive a call every 30 seconds for help.
They do a fantastic job helping the pets and animals we all hold so dear, and this summer I’ll be heading out to join their fantastic inspectors on a shift.
It’ll be a great opportunity to see first-hand the issues affecting animal welfare, and the work we need to do to continue looking after our beloved animals.