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March 15, 2022 4:57 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons yesterday local MP Tim Farron proposed an amendment to the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill which would demand the government 'named and shamed' water companies killing animals by dumping sewage in local rivers.

Tim spoke of the importance of the biodiversity of our national parks, including the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District but that the health of these parks and the animals that live within rivers were under threat from government policy. Therefore, he proposed an amendment to the Bill that would require the government to publish the number of animals killed by sewage being dumped in waterways and the companies doing so.

Speaking during the debate last night Tim said, "The richness of our biodiversity throughout Cumbria is of great importance, not least in our rivers and lakes, whose ecology is of global significance as home to countless species.

"Yet Government policy threatens that diversity and damages animal welfare.

"In 2020, across the United Kingdom, water companies were permitted to dump raw sewage into our waterways on 400,000 occasions for a total of 3.l million hours, at enormous cost to the lives of aquatic and semi-aquatic sentient animals.

"At the River Lune near Sedbergh, we saw the longest discharge in the country lasting for 8,490 hours. At Derwentwater, a discharge of 8,275 hours took place.

"Is it any wonder that only 14 % of Britain's rivers are classed as being in a "good" state?"

Unfortunately, the amendment was voted down by the Conservatives by 286 votes. Speaking afterwards Tim said, "I am extremely disappointed by the results of the vote last night.

"Our animals are swimming in filth and yet Conservative MPs continue to side with water companies who make millions of pounds every year rather than protecting our beautiful lakes and rivers."