MP Virginia Crosbie gifts Westminster Dog of the Year votes to Sir David Amess’s dog

Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie has gifted all the votes cast for her dog Violet in the Westminster Dog of Year competition to Sir David Amess’s dog Vivienne.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Virginia told MPs: “It is right and fitting that Vivienne, Sir David Amess’s dog, is celebrated, and I would like to gift all the votes cast for my cocker spaniel Violet to Vivienne.”

Virginia has joined a ground swell of support for Vivienne to win with many other MPs giving their votes to the dog or urging people to vote for her.

It follows the tragic death of Sir David who was stabbed in his constituency earlier this month.

Virginia also gave a speech during the second reading of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and she is campaigning for robust measures to stop livestock being injured or killed by out-of-control dogs.

Virginia has asked for amendments to the bill to be considered by the Government including a tightening of the definition of what is a dog at large.

Other measures she suggested have been put into the bill including confiscating animals suspected of livestock attacks and using DNA to identify them.

She is working with the National Farmers’ Union and the Kennel Club on the campaign after being told of the problem by Anglesey farmers.

During the debate she said: “Livestock worrying is legislated against under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, which is nearly 70 years old. So much has changed; more people are visiting the countryside with dogs, and technology and farming have moved on.

Under that legislation, the definition of a dog in “close control” or “at large” is—pardon the pun—woolly to say the least; and the police have limited powers to seize a dog and no powers to take DNA samples.

“In July, I introduced a ten-minute rule Bill to amend the 1953 Act, with support from the NFU. Some of my proposed amendments have been incorporated into the Bill already, and I am delighted that the Government is taking the matter seriously.

“But I would like even more robust measures to be proposed and debated.

“Last week, I wrote to the Secretary of State requesting a meeting to discuss the matter. I am working with the NFU and the Kennel Club to ensure that the changes I propose are fit for purpose and do not penalise responsible dog owners.”

At the end of the debate DEFRA minister Victoria Prentis, mentioned Virginia who, she said, “has worked so hard on the issue”.

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