Read our interview with this month’s featured supportive politician
We have chosen Britain’s Minister for Sport, Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, to be the first to feature in our new ‘MP of the month’ series.
Tracey is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chatham and Aylesford and has long been an avid campaigner for animals. She was prominent among Government Ministers and MPs in opposition to watering down the Hunting Act. Our Director of Policy Nick Palmer went to meet Tracey to find out a bit about her and why she became passionate about animals.
How long have you been in Parliament, and what did you do before?
I’ve been the Member of Parliament for Chatham and Aylesford since 2010. After graduating from The University of Hull with a law and politics degree in 1996, I worked as a parliamentary researcher for a Conservative MP. Later I moved into political consultancy, public affairs and held posts as Chief of Staff to shadow ministers. I then once again left Parliament to work in the City for insurance giant Norwich Union and its FTSE parent Aviva, where I worked until 7th May 2010.
In May 2015, I was delighted to be re-elected as MP for Chatham and Aylesford and appointed Minister for Sport.
What is the reason why you became interested in animals?
I am an animal lover and so have always been passionate about issues surrounding animal protection. I grew up with cats and rabbits, and currently share my home with two lovely black rescue cats called Mungo and Basil, who we adopted after they’d spent two years waiting in a shelter for someone to take them. They have become a cherished part of the family and even have their own Facebook page. I feel particularly upset by the use of domestic animals in research.
How important do you find this issue among your constituents?
Animal protection is a highly emotive issue among my constituents, and I receive regular correspondence from a significant number of local people on a variety of animal welfare issues including animal experiments, fox hunting and the badger cull.
Are you optimistic that animal experiments will eventually be consigned to history?
Yes, with the advance of scientific technology and the development of alternatives, I believe we will see an end to using animals in research in the future. In the meantime, we should reduce numbers as much as possible.