Below is a booklet we have just published, LAWS Animal Welfare Policy. There has never been a more important time for you to spend a minute to help formulate Labour’s Animal Welfare Policy for the next General Election. Click on image to download. (PDF)View full post
While the campaign to ‘save the whales’ culminated in the historic agreement to indefinitely ban commercial whaling in 1986, sadly, almost 40,000 whales have been slaughtered during the ban and 2013 will see this depressing statistic increase still more. While Australia has dragged Japan to the International Court of Justice over it’s bogus ‘scientific’ whaling …View full post
While the campaign to ‘save the whales’ culminated in the historic agreement to indefinitely ban commercial whaling in 1986, sadly,
almost 40,000 whales have been slaughtered during the ban and 2013 will see this depressing statistic increase still more.
While Australia has dragged Japan to the International Court of Justice over it’s bogus ‘scientific’ whaling programmes in the
Antarctic and Pacific, most whaling is taking place uncomfortably much closer to home, and it is expanding pretty much unopposed.
Though Japan has resorted to subterfuge to continue whaling, Iceland and Norway have simply lodged ‘objections’ and continue to kill
whales with impunity. This year, Norway is targeting a record quota of 1,286 minke whales and has killed almost half that number so
far. In Iceland, despite the growing popularity of whale-watching, a quota of 100 minke and 150 endangered fin whales has been set.
Shockingly, much of the minke meat is eaten by foreign tourists while endangered fin whale meat is exported to Japan, some of it
destined to become dog food!
In the Faroe Islands over 500 pilot whales have been slaughtered in just 10 days. While the Faroese Government advocates limiting
consumption of the whales because they are contaminated with dangerous pollutants, the appetite for killing these intelligent, social
animals seems undiminished.
So what will reverse this appalling resurgence of whaling? While Australia has taken on Japan’s whaling, shamefully unsupported by
the UK and EU, whaling in our backyard is expanding mostly unchallenged. Shockingly, meat from the endangered fin whales killed in
Iceland has been found in transit at the ports of Southampton, Rotterdam and Hamburg even though the UK and EU have banned import of
whale products, support the whaling ban and a ban on international trade in these products.
So why is there no meaningful action taken against whaling when all the Nordic whaling countries depend on selling their fish catches
to the UK and the rest of Europe where public opposition to whaling is strongest? While the EU has decided to sanction both Iceland
and the Faroes over their unilateral setting of herring quotas, sadly there is no apparent interest in confronting whaling with
sanctions that could end it overnight.
This is why Campaign Whale is calling on the government, the EU and all retailers of seafood to stop supporting whaling. It is time to
fight back for the whales. For more information please visit www.campaign-whale.org, call 01273 471403 or email enquiries@campaign-
On the 13th August two further whale hunts took place on the Faroe Islands. As a result, 450 white-sided dolphins and 136 pilot whales
were cruelly slaughtered with knives, a staggering total of 586 whales killed in just a single day! Over 1,000 whales have now been
killed in the Faroe Islands alone in just 24 days this summer.
With Norway setting record quotas of minke whales this year, and with Iceland killing over 100 minke and endangered fin whales,
only tough government action now can halt this horrifying slide back to the darkest days of whale slaughter.
More recently, in July 2011 an ORB poll confirmed that ‘animal welfare is something that most people say is important when deciding which political party to support and for one in six (16%) it is “very important”.’
Labour has a long and proud tradition of supporting and improving the welfare of animals.
Prior to the 1997 election Labour published a document ‘new life for animals’ containing a clear set of animal welfare policies. Most of these were subsequently delivered. The leaflet and the policies proved popular with voters, underlining the importance of the above poll results.
This long tradition appears to have diminished of late to the detriment of the Party and what it stands for.
Cruelty to animals is wrong, just as cruelty to humans is wrong. Causing unnecessary suffering to animals deliberately or through neglect for whatever reason should be prevented whether in the wild, in the home or on farms. It is right that we have laws and regulations to stop cruelty and that those who break these laws are treated as criminals.
Such a belief is part of a good society.
The Labour Animal Welfare Society has carried out a consultation exercise. As a result LAWS believes the Labour Party should adopt a policy on Animal Welfare for the next election, which would include:
- Bring in an effective strategy to enforce the ban on hunting with hounds. Breaching the Act should be a notifiable offence.
- Ban the fur trade and clearly label real fur products until such a ban can be introduced – consumers are buying real fur items without even realising it.
- Bring in a ban on wild animals in circuses – and eventually ban all performing animals in circuses.
- End the factory farming of game birds for shooting – more than 45 million pheasants and partridges are mass produced each year in the UK in hatcheries and rearing sheds. The young birds are fattened and released as moving targets for shooters.
- Bring in a strategy to encourage less meat consumption.
- Extend the ban on testing cosmetic products on animals to household products and increase the investment in finding alternatives to animal testing – it’s time for more relevant, effective science.
- Review dog breeding, ban the use of electric shock collars and bring the Dangerous Dogs Act up to date.
- Work with relevant agencies to provide ‘safe houses’ for pets – many women, in particular, remain in dangerous, abusive situations facing domestic violence as they will not leave the family pet behind. Providing temporary, secure homes for the animals would help victims to escape.
- End ‘pet fairs’. Exotic animals are not good pets and the trade in wildlife is a threat to some species.
- Continue to support the banning of hunting and slaughtering of whales working with international partners to bring an end to commercial seal hunts.
No election will ever be won on animal welfare policy – nor should it be – but by extending a sense of social justice to animals, the Labour Party would distinguish itself from others and would secure the votes of those who share that same value. It would also be doing something because – quite simply – it is the right thing to do.
Will you please support our submission by going here.
The Fringe meeting and reception held at National Conference in Manchester this year was a great success. Over 80 attended the fringe meeting. Speakers were Mary Creagh MP Shadow Secretary of State DEFRA, Kerry McCarthy MP Shadow FCO Minister, Baroness Angela Smith Opposition Deputy Chief Whip, Robert Evans Candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner , Nic Palmer for BUAV and Simon Pope for WSPA. Joe Duckworth Chief Executive of the LACS also spoke. Thanks to BUAV and WSPA for the joint sponsorship of an excellent evening.
SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2013.The Priory Rooms Meeting & Conference Centre, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF.
Registration 10.00am – start 10.30am through to 3.00pm Day Conference Including lunch. With tea and coffee at the start and during the conference. The theme of the conference is “Policing and Animal Welfare” and “Labour Party Policy on Animal Welfare”. Speakers at the Conference will include Bob Jones the newly elected Police Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, Tom Quinn Political Officer International Fund for Animal Welfare(IFAW), and a speaker from the League Against Cruel Sports.
The conference is being partly sponsored By IFAW and LAWS, so there is a small nominal charge of £5 for each delegate. If you are interested in attending please contact Wally Burley by e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 01922 620667. Mobile 07833664032
Briefing note from Mark Glover NEC member and a member of the National Policy Forum.
The Labour Party has launched its new and exciting programme of policy making – Agenda 2015 – which provides a timetable and mechanism for policy development leading up to the production of the next Labour general election manifesto. Central to this process is a new online ‘policy hub’ which members, organisations and supporters can use to submit ideas and policy suggestions, comment and vote for policy ideas.
The policy hub can be found at: http://www.yourbritain.org.uk
It is a user-friendly site with an introductory video on the front page. To make post submissions or to comment you will have to log in and may need to register (again, very simple). If you are already registered to use membersnet or other Labour websites you can use your existing log-in details.
We all now have an opportunity for submitting and supporting policy ideas on animal welfare in a way that can be read by other party members, the National Policy Forum and the Labour leadership.
To make a submission, comment or vote:
• go to the second tab on the home page: ‘Join the Debate’
• then you can choose one of the priority topics
or scroll down and click on where it says: ‘Can’t find the subject you want to discuss? Click here.
• ‘Animal welfare’ appears and you can make a submission using the button on the right hand side.
LAWS will be sending in a document and you will then be able to add a comment and vote for it as a positive contribution.
All submissions will go forward to a policy commission and members of the National Policy Forum are responsible for monitoring the ideas coming forward. It is essential that there are animal welfare measures put forward for discussion.
If a particular submission is seen to be based on widespread community and/or public support or it receives a high level of support through the voting mechanism, the individual or organisation making the submission may be invited to give evidence in person to the relevant policy commission.
COMMUNICATION If you send something in to the Your Britain website, please let us know. We can then keep LAWS members up to date with animal policy issues and encourage them to give their support. CONTINUED ON All elements of the party, from individual members to CLPs and MPs and affiliates can get involved and there is more information how in the Agenda 2015 document. (You can find this document by typing Agenda 2015 into the search box in membersnet So now it’s down to you. Please get involved. Make your own submissions or support those already posted and, importantly, let us know what you are doing. Notify email@example.com
Don’t forget to visit us on stand 14.