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February 18, 2015

Animals Matter to British Voters

Humane Society International/UK

  • We work to end the persecution of our wildlife. Alamy

Today, the Labour Party launched its Pledge For Animals—a manifesto of policy commitments to improve animal protection, including abandoning the cruel and ineffective badger cull.

Humane Society International/UK attended the launch of Pledge for Animals at the London Wetland Centre, alongside other animal protection groups and Maria Eagle MP.

HSI/UK Executive Director Claire Bass welcomed the pledge but urged all political parties to be more ambitious on animal policies because tackling cruelty and animal suffering matters to British voters.

A 2014 YouGov poll shows that 14 percent of British voters name animal welfare as an issue that would determine their vote, with 87 percent saying they would be more likely to vote for a political party promoting animal welfare (rising to 20 percent and 92 percent respectively of 18-24 year olds).

Bass said: “Britain is a nation of animal lovers and, in the run up to May 7th, millions of voters will be looking at what parties are pledging to do to improve the lives of animals and confront cruelty. Labour has put animals on the political agenda with commitments such as ending the cruel & unscientific badger cull, and banning the exploitation of wild animals for entertainment in our circuses. We’d like to see all parties make animal protection a priority with ambitious goals, and to remember that animals have friends and those friends have votes.”

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Labour’s pledge includes an end to the unethical, unscientific and ineffective badger cull, defending the hunting ban, a ban on wild animals in circuses, and reviewing ineffective regulation of dog and cat breeding and sale.

HSI/UK welcomes Labour’s pledge to abandon the badger cull if successful at the election. Bass said: “The badger cull has been a very expensive, cruel and ineffective farce that flies in the face of almost unanimous scientific opinion, so it’s only right that it be brought to a swift end. We hope that all parties similarly commit to bovineTB strategy that is led by science and ethics.”

HSI works globally to end the suffering of puppy farms, including rescuing animals from horrendous puppy mill conditions. Bass said: “Thousands of puppies & kittens suffer for the pet trade, mass bred in intensive conditions on farms. It is a hideous abuse of animal welfare, and we would like to see a nationwide ban on such farms. Mother dogs and cats are forced to exist in appalling, filthy, cramped conditions on a continual cycle of breeding, pregnancy and birth until quite literally worn out, and the puppies and kittens they produce can have serious health and behavioural issues. If we really do love ‘man’s best friend’ then legislation to ban this concealed cruelty can’t come soon enough.”

HSI/UK encourages people to seek the views of all candidates on issues that are important to them, and to make those candidates aware that animal welfare issues matter.

Media contact:

Wendy Higgins, Communications Director: +44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org

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