Letter to MP from Dover girls who saw driver running over a coot leads to Westminster invitation

Contributed by editor on Jul 12, 2019 - 08:15 AM

Charlie Elphicke with Buhlman family in Westminster


Three primary school children from Dover were invited to the House of Commons after witnessing a car deliberately run over a coot.

Lexi and Leila Buhlman, aged seven, and their sister Oliveah, aged 10, all from River, saw a car believed to have been driven by a teenager drive at the bird in Lower Road, River, in May.

They spent the rest of the day at the roadside, waving at drivers to slow down.

Later they wrote a letter to their MP Charlie Elphicke saying the person who killed the coot should be arrested.

Charlie said: “Lexi, Leila and Oliveah wrote a moving letter to me. I invited them to Parliament so I could tell them they were absolutely right – it’s so important to respect wildlife and protect the environment.

“It’s also important to take an interest in politics and trying to change things for the better. They are three delightful young girls and I hope they enjoyed it.”

Charlie invited them to talk about animal cruelty and road safety at Westminster, where they were given a tour before a meeting on the terrace by the Thames.

The trio visited parliament with their grandparents Roger and Angie shortly before a debate on a bill to increase jail terms for animal cruelty cases, which took place this week.

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill would increase the maximum jail term for animal cruelty from six months to five years, as well as an unlimited fine.

Charlie Elphicke at Battersea's campaign launch

Charlie added: “I have long supported this campaign. It is unacceptable that people can abuse animals and get away with such a small penalty.

“We must have tougher sentences for the despicable people willing to harm helpless creatures.

“Then we can show people like Lexi, Leila and Oliveah that they can make a difference – that if we speak up and work together, we can make the world a better place.”

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