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Our MP of the month is Graeme Morrice, MP for Livingston

Graeme Morrice has been Member of Parliament for Livingston Constituency since 2010. Graeme was local government Councillor in West Lothian from 1987 until 2012 and was Council leader between 1995 and 2007. Under his leadership, West Lothian Council was awarded the prestigious accolade ‘UK Council of the Year’ in 2006.

1. How did you become interested in issues surrounding animal protection?

I am an animal lover and so have always been passionate about issues surrounding animal protection. It is shameful in this day and age that animals continue to be mistreated which is why I felt it important as Member of Parliament to do all I can to protect animals.  I have been especially delighted to work alongside the BUAV to highlight the injustices present in animal welfare.

2. How important do you find this issue amongst your constituents?

Animal protection is a highly emotive issue amongst my constituents, and I receive regular correspondence from local people on a number of issues including animal experiments and live animal exports. Through my work in Parliament I am able to give my constituents a political voice and hold the Government to account on their behalf. 

3. What changes have you seen in public attitudes towards animal protection during your time working on the issue?

Since being elected as an MP in 2010, I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of constituents and people across the country who prioritise animal welfare and are prepared to raise their feelings with their elected representatives. Obviously, much of this is engendered by campaigns run by animal rights groups and, of course, with the ease of use of computer technology, more people have become engaged, which is fantastic. 

4. Do you share your home with any animals?

I have a cat called Ripley who is a black and white, short haired domestic cat and is 20 years old next year.  She even has her own Facebook page! As a pet owner I appreciate the importance of ensuring that animals are loved and kept in a safe environment. 

5. If you had one message to Government on animal experiments what would it be?

It is particularly concerning that that the number of animal tests have actually increased under the present Government. I call on the Government to fulfil its promise to reduce the use of animals in scientific research.It is also essential that the Government works with the bioscience industry to ensure that progress is made on this.