Wednesday 21 September 2016

I'm backing a new campaign to target the cruel UK puppy trade

I have lent support to a new public awareness campaign launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to target the growing problem of the illicit and cruel UK puppy trade.

The puppy industry is booming, but with many UK breeders and puppy smugglers across Europe producing puppies solely for profit, all too often these animals suffer serious illness or behavioural problems later in life. Others, sadly, do not survive.

IFAW has devised a useful guide, P.U.P.S, for anyone looking to buy a puppy, to ensure they know what to look for to avoid buying an unhealthy, possibly puppy farmed animal. The P.U.P.S mnemonic, below, is accompanied by a kitsch, online mock advert for a children’s toy, the Suzy puppy. The short film depicts a young girl’s delight at her new toy puppy, but mirroring the grim reality of the puppy industry she quickly discovers that her seemingly perfect pup is in fact suffering a great deal.

I am very pleased to support this important IFAW campaign to help make people aware of the potential pitfalls before buying a puppy which may have been farmed in squalid conditions and taken from its mother too soon, before it is eight weeks of age.

It is terrible to think of these puppies being transported a great distance by dealers with little or no thought for their health or welfare. The mothers suffer greatly too, being made to produce litter after litter of puppies until they have outlived their usefulness. I encourage everyone to watch and share IFAW’s film and to remember P.U.P.S.

Parent – Is the puppy with its mum?
Underage – Has the puppy reached the legal age for sale?
Papers – Are all of the puppy’s papers available and in order?
Sickness – Is the puppy healthy and energetic?

IFAW’s P.U.P.S film can be viewed here.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

National product recall register

Yesterday, I participated in a debate in which I supported calls for the Government to introduce a national product-recall register so people know where to check if white goods like Tumble Dryers pose a risk.

It came after the deaths of two adults in 2014 after their Hotpoint caught fire and more recently a fire linked to a faulty dryer was started in a 18-storey tower block narrowly avoiding multiple deaths.
The incident saw more than 100 families evacuated and 26 forced to relocate to temporary accommodation in hotels.

Many consumers may not even be aware that their tumble dryer poses a risk to their life and property, which is why the campaign for greater safeguards for consumers on product recall is essential.
Latest fire data shows that five tumble dryers a day, of all brands and manufacturers, are bursting in to flames.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Wear It Pink 2016

Wear it Pink is back for its 15th year, calling on supporters across the country to add a flash of pink to their wardrobe for the day and raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

I joined fellow parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Westminster this week to encourage people across the UK to get involved and help Breast Cancer Now towards their ambition that, by 2050, everyone that develops the disease will live.

Wear it Pink raises close to £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer, and this year it’s going to be pinker and more fun than ever before. Anyone can take part, whether at work, at home or at school. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate what you can.

When you join the hundreds of thousands of people who take part in wear it pink, you become part of a collective force of scientists, supporters and people affected by breast cancer, passionate about putting an end to deaths from the disease.

50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, and sadly around 11,500 women and 80 men will lose their lives to the disease. Together, we must put a stop to this.

Through cutting-edge research, Breast Cancer Now are tackling the disease from all angles to ensure that, by 2050, everyone that develops the disease will live. But we all need to join forces and act now, and in wear it pink there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

As a Breast Cancer Ambassador I am particularly passionate about standing up for the women and families affected by the disease in Makerfield and I am very proud to take part in Wear it Pink. I hope everyone in the local community will join me by wearing it pink on Friday 21 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.

Sign up to wear it pink on Friday 21 October to support Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Start a conversation today and help turn an end into a beginning

How would you start the conversation with your family and loved ones that you want to be an organ donor after your death? Um, ah, ooh or err? It doesn’t really matter how you begin to the conversation - it’s just really important that you do. In Makerfield there are 16 people waiting for an organ transplant, waiting for the chance of a new beginning. But not enough people are agreeing to be organ donors and telling their loved ones and families about their decision. People give many reasons for not having talked about it. Some of the most common are that it didn’t come up, that people don’t really want to talk about death, or that they just haven’t got around to it yet. Organ donation can be a delicate subject to bring up with your family, but NHS Blood and Transplant, the organ donation organisation for the UK, has provided some handy hints and tips showing it is easier than you think.

If your family don’t know about your decision, they may not agree to donation. But they are more likely to agree if they know that is what you wanted. Many families say that donation helps with their grief. They feel enormous pride in knowing their relative went on to save lives after they died. So, please talk it over and help your loved ones to support your decision.