Category Archive: Reports/Policies

LAWS Submission to Labour Party Your Britain Policy Consultation

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.

LAWS Launch Local Government Charter

A billion animals are killed each year in the United Kingdom by us humans. They are either reared for food or sport, killed in the wild or experimented on before being slaughtered.

All of us have a responsibility to ensure that these and the other animals in our care are treated well and killed humanely. Where possible we should eliminate unnecessary animal suffering.

Local Authorities have their part to play in creating a more humane and compassionate world. Many of their areas of responsibility involve animals and policies can and should be introduced to reduce animal suffering.

Many Councils have already adopted Animal Welfare Charters however too many have not and we have produced the LAWS Charter as a tool for those which have not. It is being made available as a draft document that can be adapted for the type of Authority intending to use it.

Following our discussions and the day conference held in December 2011 in Oxford we are pleased to present this local government charter.

We would like to thank Chris Fagan our local government officer for his work in preparing, presenting and producing the draft document at the day conference and the work that he has done since in finalising it.  Thanks also to the members who took part in the Policy Conference and also the LAWS members and animal welfare groups who submitted comments and proposals.

Thanks also to Nicki Brooks, Mark Glover and the other members of LAWS Executive Committee for their contributions to the final document.

We hope you find our policy document interesting and any comments you may wish to make on it would be most welcomed.

This document is being circulated to all Local Authorities and we very much hope that they will take the steps necessary to bring in their own version of an Animal Welfare Charter as soon as possible.  If they already have a charter then we hope that this document can be used to update it.

To download a copy (PDF) click on the image below.

New LAWS policy document

Following the Policy Conference held last October, and after a series of consultations we now have a new LAWS policy document – a PDF of which can be downloaded by clicking the image below. We would like to thank Mark Glover for the work he did in presenting and producing the draft document at the conference. Thanks also go to the members who took part in the discussions and, of course, the numerous animal welfare groups who also submitted comments and proposals. A special thank you to BUAV for arranging the layout and the printing.

We hope you find the policy document interesting and any comments you may wish to make on it would be most welcomed.

Wally Burley Chair, Labour Animal Welfare Society.