Jim Fitzpatrick: I'm fighting for cows' welfare
By Jim Fitzpatrick
You might have heard the story of Lloyd and Leila, the bull and cow at Stepney City Farm whose future falls somewhere between uncertain and invidious. The farm has said it cannot keep them any longer. Along with many others - including thousands of petition signatories - I am doing all I can to secure these much-loved and popular animals a happy outcome.
That will be in the form of a move to Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk.
Lloyd and Leila do not as yet have the paperwork - "passports" - to allow their transportation to the sanctuary, and this is something I'm working hard to overcome in my representations to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).
Farming Minister George Eustice has said two exemptions in previous cases were on the basis that "the welfare of the animals concerned had been seriously compromised by extreme events and refusal to allow the animals to move... would have added significantly to the their suffering."
My reply makes the following point: "How much more compromising is death?
This is what awaits Lloyd and Leila if they are not allowed to go to Hillside Animal Sanctuary."
In challenging Defra's viewpoint, I'm also stressing that Hillside is a sanctuary and has nothing to do with the food chain.
Follow the links online to join the debate and sign the petition.
■ Jim Fitzpatrick is MP for Poplar and Limehouse