Macclesfield MP David Rutley has defended his decision to vote against changing Britain’s animal welfare law following Brexit.
It comes two weeks after the government rejected an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, proposed by Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas.
The change would have brought Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, recognising the government’s duty to protect animal sentience, into British law.
Since the vote, Mr Rutley and his party have come under fire from constituents and animal rights activists.
But Mr Rutley has defended his decision, saying that vote was for a ‘faulty amendment’ and it wouldn’t have protected animal rights.
He said: “You can be assured that I am committed to the very highest standards of animal welfare, and to making the UK a world leader in the field. It concerns me that some have suggested the vote my colleagues and I cast on New Clause 30 of the EU Withdrawal Bill somehow signalled a weakening in the protection of animals.
“The vote against New Clause 30 was the rejection of a faulty amendment that would not have achieved its stated aims.
“Ministers will instead make any necessary legal changes to ensure animal sentience is recognised after we leave the EU.
“The Government believes that the EU Withdrawal Bill is not the right place to address this, so it is considering the right legislative vehicle.
“Here in the UK, the Government is improving animal welfare standards without EU input and beyond the scope of Article 13.”