Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

General election 2017: animal welfare manifesto commitments

Posted: 16 May 2017. Updated: 5 June 2017

Published to date (in alphabetical order):

Alliance Party

Alliance has always prioritised animal welfare and sought to tackle cruelty against animals. People who show such barbarism are not only a danger to the animals involved, but potentially to our society as a whole. Naomi Long has received awards for her work on this and will continue to advocate for animal welfare in many different ways. Our priorities for animals in the agriculture sector include:

  • Improving food labelling and traceability through proposals to label meat as either stunned or non-stunned, mandatory CCTV in slaughter-houses, and cracking-down on overuse of antibiotics in farming.
  • Recognising the economic impact of Bovine TB on the farming community and the need for science- and evidence-based procedures to eradicate the disease. We oppose area-based badger culling as we do not believe it is proven to be effective or humane and has led to increases in Bovine TB outside the cull area. We would support research into the cause and transmission of Bovine TB and the effectiveness of ‘trapping and testing’ as well as more cost-effective versions of cattle vaccinations. We would especially work to remove barriers to cattle vaccination within the EU Single Market.

  • Opposing the live export of animals.

Our priorities for legislation to improve animal welfare and reduce negligence include:

    • A UK-wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

    • Opposition to any attempts to repeal the Hunting Act 2004 and supporting its extension to Northern Ireland.

    • Increased powers for local authorities (including in Northern Ireland) to deal with issues around horse abandonment such as fly-grazing.

    • Using the UK’s global influence to end ‘trophy hunting’ and the trade of illegal animal products.

    • Outlawing the use of snares.

    • Better regulation of the sale of puppies and kittens, especially when sold on the internet or in pet shops.

    • Working to reduce and better regulate necessary animal testing and invest in developing alternative scientific methods and practices.

    • Bringing the rest of the UK into line with Northern Ireland’s enhanced sentencing for animal cruelty, introduced by Alliance Minister David Ford.

Our priorities for better regulation of owners of animals include:

    • Micro-chipping and registration of cats on the same basis as for dogs.

    • Improving information-sharing between animal welfare charities and statutory organisations in order to ensure that people who are banned from keeping domestic animals are prevented from doing so.

    • Improving the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act by deploying more animal welfare officers.

    • Improving information-sharing between animal welfare charities and statutory organisations in order to ensure that people who are banned from keeping domestic animals are prevented from doing so.

Conservative Party

We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare. We will implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing and will make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory. As we leave the European Union, we can take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter.

(Note. the manifesto also states that “We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act.”)

Democratic Unionist Party

The DUP supports: the introduction of a NI Register of Animal Cruelty Offenders and the seriousness of these animal cruelty offences reflected in the sentences handed down by courts.

The Green Party

1. End factory farming: Industrial animal farming condemns millions of animals to short, painful lives in barren factory farms and damages the environment, food security and our health. We will end factory farming and live exports and introduce mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses. We would encourage a reduction in the consumption of animal products to benefit the climate and the environment, tackle deforestation and land grabbing, protect human health and social justice as well as promoting animal welfare.

2. Strengthen and extend the Hunting Act and continue our strong opposition to the badger cull: Greens have consistently opposed the badger cull, with prominent Greens joining wounded-badger patrols and Green MP Caroline Lucas leading Parliamentary debates opposing the cull. We will continue to push for science-led control of bTB, where the culling of badgers clearly has no place. We oppose all forms of hunting and will strengthen the Hunting Act, including ending the use of dogs below ground. We will end all commercial driven shooting. We will ban the manufacture, sale and use of snares; there is no place for these instruments of torture in our countryside.

3. Protect habitats and wildlife both at home and abroad: Wildlife cannot survive without a home, which is why we support a new Nature and Wellbeing Act. We will transfer the EU Habitats and Birds Directives into UK legislation and oppose any attempts to weaken them. We will ensure that our valuable wild spaces are properly protected and will prioritise action to reverse both habitat loss and the precipitous decline in our wildlife. » We will take action to protect pollinators, including developing pollinator-friendly pesticide strategies. » We will also continue to push for an end to whaling and keeping cetaceans in captivity » We will introduce a domestic trade, import and export ban for all ivory. » We will guarantee funding for a dedicated Wildlife and Animal Crimes Unit in every police force and take coordinated action to tackle wildlife crime both in the UK and across the globe, recognising its link to global crime networks.

4. Completely review companion animal-breeding and licensing legislation to stop the suffering of unwanted and inadequately cared-for companion animals: Too many animals end up on the street, in rescue centres or in homes that do not meet their needs. Irresponsible breeding also fuels dog attacks and suffering owing to unnatural conformation and inbreeding. We will tighten the law regulating the breeding and sale of companion animals and will ban the import of animals for the exotic companion animal trade. We will end the trade and keeping of primates as companion animals. We will guarantee adequate funds for tackling dog fighting and tougher penalties for those involved. We will introduce a register of convicted animal abusers to help address associated crimes such as child abuse, and encourage programmes to prevent re-offending.

5. End the suffering of animals in experiments: Greens want to see an end to animal testing and experimentation. We will ensure that research funding is directed towards modern human-biology-based techniques, increase transparency and ensure that outdated secrecy laws cannot be used to withhold information on animal experiments. We will immediately end toxicity testing on animals, the use of primates and address late-stage failure of new pharmaceutical products by overhauling drug development and test rules.

6. End the suffering of animals used for our entertainment: We believe that animals should never suffer for our entertainment and will end the use of all animals in circuses and ensure this country does not supply funds to support bullfighting and other festivals that involve cruelty to animals. We will introduce much tougher welfare rules and more monitoring of animal racing, stop the use of the whip in horse racing and end greyhound racing.

7. Ensuring policy-making never forget animals: We need to ensure that animal protection is seen as an important goal of Government policy; creating an Animal Protection Commission would ensure that animals aren’t forgotten in the decision making process.

Labour Party

Animals in our food chain need welfare standards. Domestic animals require stronger protection from cruelty. Wild animals need a sustainable ecosystem.

Labour’s vision is for the UK to lead the world with high animal welfare standards in the wild, in farming and for domestic animals. Labour will increase the maximum sentence for those convicted of committing animal cruelty.

We will promote cruelty-free animal husbandry and consult on ways to ensure better enforcement of agreed standards. We will prohibit the third-party sale of puppies, introduce and enforce a total ban on ivory trading, and support the ban on wild animals in circuses.

We will cease the badger cull, which spreads bovine TB.

Labour ended fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing.

Only a Labour government will maintain the bans.

Liberal Democrats

Introduce stronger penalties for animal cruelty offences, increasing the maximum sentencing from six months to five years, and bring in a ban on caged hens.

Clamp down on illegal pet imports through legal identification requirements for online sales, and minimise the use of animals in scientific experimentation, including by funding research into alternatives.

Continue to improve standards of animal health and welfare in agriculture by updating farm animal welfare codes and promoting the responsible stewardship of antibiotic drugs.

Ensure that future trade deals require high safety, environmental and animal welfare standards for food imports, including clear and unambiguous country-of-origin labelling for meat and dairy products.

Develop safe, effective, humane and evidence-based ways of controlling bovine TB, including by investing to produce workable vaccines

Provide greater resources for international environmental co-operation, particularly on climate change and on actions to tackle illegal and unsustainable trade in timber, wildlife, ivory and fish.

Plaid Cymru

Where we are:
Wildlife species in Wales are at risk of disappearing, with loss of biodiversity a threat to our natural environment.

Plaid Cymru’s answer:
We will update and consolidate Welsh wildlife legislation, creating a new Wildlife Act for Wales. We will continue to call for the creation of an Animal
Abuse Register for Wales.

Where we can be:
Wales can lead the way in the protection of wildlife and biodiversity levels as key elements of our environment.

Social Democratic and Labour Party

At Westminster, SDLP MPs have been active in highlighting the various aspects of animal cruelty and defending animal welfare. We have a strong, longstanding policy against the barbaric practice of fox hunting and will vote against any attempts to overturn the fox hunting ban. This practice must be stopped and those who are responsible must be brought to justice.

Scottish National Party

We will oppose any relaxation of the laws on fox-hunting.

UK Independence Party

We stand by our 2015 manifesto pledges to:

Ban the export of animals for fattening and slaughter

Tightly regulate animal testing, and continually challenge companies concerned regarding its necessity

Install CCTV in every abattoir and deal severely with any animal welfare contraventions

Forbid Jewish and Muslim methods of slaughter being carried out by unqualified individuals in unregulated premises, and deal severely with such transgressions

Insist all meat labelling identifies the method of slaughter

Triple the maximum jail sentences for animal cruelty

Impose lifetime bans on owning and/or looking after animals on any individual or company convicted of animal cruelty

Keep the ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

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