Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Political challenges for animals at the Party Conferences

Posted: 25 September 2006


Click for our Conference 2006 Political Animals briefing

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Click for archive Conference 2005 Political Animals briefing

Animal Defenders International (ADI) and National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) the international animal campaigning groups launch a report, Political Animals 2006, for the Party Conference season to highlight current animal protection issues and campaigns. ADI and NAVS have been at the Liberal Democrats conference in Brighton this week and at the weekend move on to Labour in Manchester followed by the Conservatives in Bournemouth. ADI and NAVS are pressing for bans on animals in circuses and the use of primates in research, both will be on the political agenda in the next 12 months.

Animal Welfare Bill: Time to ban animal circuses

ADI’s evidence of circus suffering was featured heavily in a standing committee debate led by Shona McIsaac. Following this Defra Minister Ben Bradshaw announced to the House of Commons that certain non-domesticated species would be banned from animal circuses.

As a member of Defra’s working group, ADI continues to submit evidence. Jan Creamer ADI’s chief executive said: “Our ‘Science on Suffering’ report provides substantial data from scientific studies and observations, which confirms that due to the circumstances, animal welfare, for both exotic and domestic species, will always be compromised in a travelling circus environment”. Overwhelming support has been received from over 140 MPs who have signed EDM 1626, tabled by Mike Hancock MP on behalf of ADI, which calls for a complete ban on the use of animals in travelling circuses.

EC Directive 86/609: Ending the use of primates in EU research

The EU is currently considering plans to overhaul animal experimentation rules under EC Directive 86/609, including a possible ban on experiments on chimpanzees and a review of the future of experiments on monkeys in the EU.

A Written Declaration, drafted by ADI and NAVS, is being sponsored in the European Parliament by UK MEPs David Martin, Vice-President of the European Parliament (Labour–Party of European Socialists); Robert Evans (Lab–PES); Sajjad Karim (Liberal Democrats–Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe); together with Portuguese MEP Paulo Casaca (PES), President of the Inter Group on Animal welfare and Swedish MEP Carl Schlyter (Green Party).

There are also motions calling for an end to primate experiments before the Scottish Parliament (tabled by Chris Balance – Green Party); the UK Parliament (EDM 2633) tabled by Colin Challen MP (Lab), and already backed by 14 MPs; and a Statement of Opinion has been tabled in the Welsh Assembly by Lorraine Barret AM (Lab-Cooperative).

Jan Creamer, ADI’s chief executive commented: “There is a genuine opportunity to end the suffering of primates in laboratories. The EU has recognised this and MEPs have before them the chance to take huge step forward. These animals are our closest relatives; almost all of the primate species share more than 90% of their genetic make up with us, with chimpanzees and humans differing by as little as 2% of DNA. The similarities in behaviour, emotions, and intellectual performance between ourselves and our fellow primates are striking. It is time for the European Union to take action to protect the primate nations.”

The Political Animals 2006 report can be found online at or picked up from the ADI stand at the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative Party Conferences where ADI staff will be on hand to answer any questions and provide further information.

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