Sir David Amess has championed animal welfare and pro-life issues


Sir David Amess, the MP for Southend West who died after a knife attack, viewed his main interests and areas of expertise as ‘animal welfare and pro-life’ issues.

The longtime Conservative MP described himself as a “big animal lover” on his website, which was reflected in his record in Parliament.

Sir David, 69, was responsible for introducing the Protection from Cruel Attachment Act in 1988, campaigned to stop testing of household products on animals, tackled illegal cash trade wild and fought to end puppy breeding, according to its website.

He opposed the culling of badgers and was one of the few Conservative MPs in favor of a ban on fox hunting.

Sir David Amess was passionate about animal welfare (John Stillwell / PA) (AP Archives)

In his last intervention in the House of Commons, on September 23, he called for a debate on “animal welfare in general, cruelty to animals and the welfare of backyard animals” to mark the World Animal Day October 4.

The conservative veteran was a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation and won the Dods Animal Welfare and Environment Award in 2011 for his work on the issue.

Many tributes paid to Sir David after his death refer to his passion for animal rights, including from Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister’s wife, who described him in a tweet as a “huge animal lover”.

Sir David and his three-year-old French Bulldog Vivienne were on the upcoming Westminster Dog of the Year Show, which promotes responsible dog ownership.

“Each time I enter the room Vivienne throws herself on me, lies on her back with her legs in the air to be tickled. But before that, she always brings a toy, so she is of a generous and generous nature, ”he told the Echo news site.

He has also regularly judged at local dog shows and supported various local animal charities.

Channel 4 countdown mathematician Rachel Riley, who attended Southend High for Girls, called his death ‘insane’ and said he supported his mother Celia Riley’s work with the Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society.

The charity tweeted: “At Essex Horse and Pony we are shocked and saddened by the murder of local MP and animal advocate Sir David Amess. He was a supporter of the Sanctuary and attended events.

Besides animal welfare, Sir David has also championed better maternity services.

The MP, who chaired the all-party parliamentary group on motherhood, was helping organize a maternity safety event in Parliament next month, according to the Royal College of Midwives, which said it was “shocked and saddened” by her death .

Sir David, a devout Catholic, was also an anti-abortion activist and patron of the Right To Life charity.

The organization described him as a “pro-life champion” who “used his position as an MP to advocate for vulnerable people, including advocating for initiatives to introduce more protections for unborn babies and more support for unborn babies. women confronted with pregnancies in crisis “.

Flowers at the scene near Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea (Yui Mok / PA) (PA wire)

Friends and colleagues described Sir David, who was married with four daughters and one son, as a tireless campaigner for the issues that interested him.

Local councilor John Lamb said he “was always trying to help the people and especially the refugees he was trying to help”.

Sir David called a visit to a refugee camp in Malatya in Turkey in 2019, home to some 10,000 Syrian refugees, “heartbreaking”.

In tribute to Sir David, the British Red Cross said he “visited British Red Cross volunteers and supported us in our work”.

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