Category Archive: Reports/Policies

Get involved and let’s do all we can to stop the Tories getting power.

Having been a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 1999 and Chair of the Assembly All Party Animal Welfare Group since it’s inception in 2000, neuropathologist I have taken a lead on issues of animal welfare in the Assembly. This year, viagra order I am working on two particular issues – “puppy farms” and “badgers”.

Turning firstly to puppy farms, at the outset I would like to say that there are obviously reputable licensed dog breeders across Wales who take their responsibilities seriously and care for their dogs. It is important that we make the distinction between responsible breeders and those who seek only financial gain. Good breeders will take into consideration breed-specific health problems, genetic screening, the dog’s age as well as temperament before breeding. In contrast, dogs bred in these “puppy farms” are bred purely for profit, with little regard to animal welfare.

A puppy farmer is an intensive volume breeder who has little regard for the basic needs and care of the dogs concerned, and who seeks to make a profit from the sale of puppies. The topic of puppy farms has been in the news for many years and the programme Rogue Traders, showed dogs locked in cramped cages, with no bedding and were constantly crying and whimpering.

The RSPCA last year went undercover to a puppy farm to investigate conditions there. They purchased six puppies, two of which they later found out had potentially life threatening illnesses. One of these, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross was diagnosed with pneumonia and, despite constant care, died. There have also been cases documented in which families have bought dogs from puppy farms only to find out that they carried diseases which were passed on to other family pets, who in some cases also died.

The purpose of these farms is to make money and as such, many breeders will cut as many costs as possible. Despite it being illegal for a bitch to give birth to more than six litters in a lifetime and only once a year, puppy farmers will keep a number of female dogs who are used solely for breeding and their lives are a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth. Puppies are taken from them far too early and the mother dogs will be made pregnant again almost immediately. This puts a vast physical strain on them and when they are worn out and no longer able to breed they are usually killed.

When puppies are sold, they are often sent by van to ‘dealers’ in towns and cities, many are severely traumatised by the journeys and some do not make it alive. The dealers then place adverts in newspapers and magazines, often masquerading as breeders. Some breeders will sell their puppies from the back of a van or at a motorway service station. The public is unaware that this is how some puppy farmers operate and will not ask to see the puppy with its mother or the relevant certificates.

Many puppies from puppy farms are put on sale in pet shops and we should do all we can to urge people to stay away from pet shops when buying a puppy, as it is likely to have originated from a puppy farm. Good breeders would never sell their puppies via a pet shop.

If all breeders were to adhere to the law, disreputable puppy farms would not exist and dogs would be properly cared for. However, as we have seen, dogs continue to be mistreated at the hands of so-called breeders looking to make a quick buck. If some puppy farm owners are happy to ignore the current reasonable regulations, it is unlikely that new legislation would suffice in closing them down as illegal breeders are obviously adept at passing under the radar of detection.

There are therefore two ways in which we can improve the situation. The first is to find the puppy farms, examine the conditions the dogs are held in and close them down if necessary; the other is to ensure that the public is informed of the methods of puppy farms so that the demand is cut off at source. The simple message to those buying a puppy is to demand to see the puppy with its mother in its home environment and never to buy a puppy from the back of a van in the service stations.

By taking these practical steps and encouraging people to find out exactly where their dog comes from, it would become difficult for disreputable puppy farms to make a profit and they would be forced out of business. I believe this is the most effective means of preventing the cruelty to puppies and rewarding good breeders who take their responsibility seriously. We need to act now to bring an end this unnecessary suffering.

The second issue is the decision made by Elin Jones, the Plaid Cymru Minister for Rural Affairs in the Labour-Plaid coalition, to go ahead with a badger cull in Wales. Over the next four years, if she has her way, countless badgers will be killed in the name of eradicating bovine TB. This decision has been reached despite the lack of any convincing evidence that a badger cull will have any meaningful effect on the number of cattle who contract bovine TB.

Badgers are a protected species in Wales and this cull will decimate badger numbers across the country. Wales stands alone on this and, as the Minister admitted when announcing her decision to the chamber, there is no consensus amongst experts as to the effectiveness of a cull, but she’s planning to go ahead with it anyway.

The badger cull which was carried out in Ireland between 1997 and 2002 proved ineffective and cost the lives of thousands of healthy badgers and injured thousands more. It is apparent that the Minister has ignored the disastrous cull on the other side of the Irish Sea and instead is following advice based on mixed opinions. This simply cannot be justified and I just find the whole situation very distressing.

Countless animals will be killed and injured as a result of the two issues outlined above. I will continue to try and stop this cull, working within the law, alongside the Badger Trust, the RSPCA and a group of back-bench Assembly Members.
TB consultation starts in Wales

A THREE-month consultation on the proposed Tuberculosis Eradication (Wales) Order 2009 under the Animal Health Act 1It says TB in cattle is an infectious and debilitating disease which has increased dramatically since 1999 and last year more than 12,000 cattle in Wales were slaughtered because of the disease.

It also forecasts that by 2014 taxpayers could be paying more than £80 million to farmers in compensation if the disease continues to escalate at the current rate. The Welsh Assembly Government says it has set up a comprehensive programme to eradicate bovine TB and that since the programme was established new initiatives had been introduced, including more stringent measures aimed at tackling the spread of the disease by cattle. Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, had announced last month that, in her view and on the basis of evidence available, a cull of badgers in an Intensive Action Pilot Area was necessary to begin to address the reservoir of TB that exists in wildlife. It would take place in one area, alongside additional measures to tackle the disease in cattle She had also announced that the Welsh Assembly Government would assume responsibility for managing a badger cull. Although it would be possible to licence farmers or other individuals to undertake this work under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Assembly Government wanted to co-ordinate it, and so deliver a cull.

But in order to allow WAG to manage a cull it needed the powers to do so – and why secondary legislation under the Animal Health Act 1981 is needed.

The 12-week public consultation on the draft order runs from April 24 to July17. Copies of are available from the Welsh Assembly Government TB team or from the Assembly Government’s website.

Members are urged to take part in the consultation to oppose the Badger Cull.
The Red Fox is a native of Britain and is basically a small wild dog. It is at the top of its food chain and its population has never been subject to control by the predation of other species. The fox population is controlled by availability of food in a defended territory. The territory can be occupied by a fox family or a pair. A family usually consists of one dog fox and 1-3 vixens of which only the dominant vixen will produce a litter. Foxes generally mate in January and produce their cubs in March. An average litter is 4-5 cubs. During the summer the family will stay together living mainly above ground, physician but in the autumn and through the winter the young males will leave to find their own territories and mates. The young vixens may stay on to assist with the care of the following year’s litter produced by the dominant vixen. This is a natural method of population suppression.

Foxes are highly adaptable and live on a diet of earthworms, beetles, rodents, rabbits and carrion. Foxes do not deserve their reputation as pests of agriculture. Losses of lambs, piglets and poultry to foxes are insignificant compared to poor husbandry. Local problems with fox predation on livestock can be prevented by electric fencing and secure housing. Foxes do no damage to crops and are very beneficial to farmers by consuming rabbits, voles and other pests of agricultural crops.

Foxes have a potential lifespan comparable to a small dog – up to 14 years in captivity. However in the wild only a minority of foxes survive their first year, and most (about 95 per cent) die before their first birthday. This heavy death rate is generally due to man.

Urban foxes pose no significant threat to the health of humans or domestic animals. Reports of foxes killing cats are rare and generally unsubstantiated. Other pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs can be protected by secure housing – foxes do not carry keys.

In general, most urban fox ‘problems’ are more imaginary than real. Most real problems are isolated cases and are more likely to cure themselves (often when a litter of cubs grows up and moves away) than they are to be cured by outside interference.
“If a Conservative Government gets elected not only will they bring back “Hunting with Dogs” but also there will be a mass slaughter of badgers”

“We now face a General Election and a Tory commitment to repeal the hunting ban “early” in the next parliament. We must therefore keep up the fight for a decent society. It was this Labour Government that made the moral choice to protect animals in this country. A Tory Government will not, check It’s our choice and every vote will matter.

We shall have to work hard but we can succeed. Extra efforts in those seats that matter can make a difference and we urge you to work in the seats that we must win.

If you wish further information then contact the Labour Party Regional Offices in England and the Scottish and Welsh Offices who will be able to direct you to the seats that matter or contact us.

Eastern Region 01279 625860

Greater London 0845 850 0588

North 0191 246 5276

North West 01925 574913

Scotland 0141 572 6900

South East 0118 923 9400

South West 0117 972 9440

Wales 02920 877700

West Midlands 0121 569 1900

Yorkshire and the Humber 01924 291221

Labour Animal Welfare Society 01922 724189 or 07833664032.

www.labour.org.uk/back the ban

ANIMAL WELFARE AND THE LABOUR PARTY

MORI polling in 2005 showed that 14% of respondents said that animal welfare was an issue that

would be ‘very important’ in helping to decide which party they would vote for – up 3% from 2001.

The Labour Party was clearly identified as the party with the best policies on animal welfare (24% thought so compared to 9% for the Tories and 8% for the LibDems).

Animal welfare is an area where the Party is clearly ahead of the other main parties.

Hunting with hounds could be one of the defining issues in the forthcoming election. Labour banned it but, discount incredibly, treat the Tories seem determined to bring it back and hunts have been active all the while in the hope of a Tory return.

The pro-hunt Vote-OK website claims that during the last election its supporters helped to deliver 3.4 million leaflets, address 2.1 million envelopes and erect 55,000 posters – all aimed at undermining Labour candidates. This year we can expect the same and more.

Nick Herbert, the Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was one of the leading lights behind the formation of the Countryside Alliance.

A quick look at the Conservative Party website with a search for ‘animal welfare’ is revealing. The first two results refer to the European parliament. The fourth is an article by Herbert arguing there is a ‘compelling case to get the hunting ban off the statute book’.

While in office, Labour has a good track record:

* Banned fox hunting, hare coursing, hare hunting and stag hunting.
* Banned fur farming and worked in Europe to ban imports of cat and dog fur into the EU.
* Banned driftnet fishing which helps protect dolphins,turtles, sea birds and other animals.
* Banned testing cosmetics, toiletries, alcohol and tobacco on animals.
* Since 1997 we have refused to license any testing on great apes (such as chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas).
* Established the National Centre for the Replacement,
* Reduction and Refinement of Animals in Research which
* provides research into alternatives to animal testing.
* Secured better welfare standards at a European level for battery hens and meat chickens
* Tightened up rules on the transport of live animals across Europe.
* Secured an EU-wide ban on the trade in Seal, Walrus, and Sea Lion skins.
* Increased prison sentences for wildlife crime.
* Halted the decline in farmland birds, while increasing rare and woodland bird populations.
* Introduced a new duty of care on those who keep animals to ensure the needs of any animal for which they are responsible are met; while creating a new criminal offence of failing to provide for the needs of an animal.
* Introduced pet passports allowing you to take your pet abroad in the EU without the need for quarantine.

David Cameron has been wooing the animal welfare organisations, even appearing at a seminar attended by many of them. But his credibility is zero due to the hunting issue.

The current set of Early Day Motions provides further evidence for the commitment of the parties to animal welfare. 219 MPs have signed one in support of fur labelling – hardly radical. Of those only 12 are conservative and, of those, at least two known animal welfare stalwarts will not be standing again.

Defra’s new policy for food (Food 2030) missed an ideal opportunity to contribute to both climate change targets and animal welfare. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, the livestock industry, globally, generates 18% of all human-caused greenhouse gases (GHG) – more than the entire transport sector. Even this may be a serious underestimate, ignoring, as it does, the respiration of the animals themselves, the full effect of de-forestation to provide grassland and the real impact of animals burping (methane). An analysis from Worldwatch shows that livestock and meat-eating may be responsible for as much as 51% of GHGs.

Prior to last year’s Copenhagen climate change conference, European Parliament Sir Paul McCartney and Parliament President Jerzy Buzek MEP launched a “meat free Monday” initiative. Buzek urged everyone “to act globally to face global challenges, but not to ignore what we do at home,” when opening the “Less meat=less heat” hearing on 3 December. The idea of one meat-free day a week was highlighted as a way for an individual to make a difference to global warming. “It is very doable,” said Sir Paul and so it is. Eating less meat has an immediate impact. Unlike energy conservation schemes and investment in clean energy which involve long lead times and rely on others, people can play a part straight away.

In the Manifesto the Animal Welfare section reads:

“ We Have banned foxhunting and animal testing for cosmetics and tobacco, and will bring forward further animal welfare measures. We will campaign internationally to end illegal trading in ivory and to protect species such as polar bears, seals and bluefin tuna, as well as for a EU wide ban on illegally logged timber, banning it domestically if this does not succeed.”

A future Labour government should bring forward further animal welfare measures and pledge to:

· Clearly label real fur products – consumers are buying real fur items without even realising it.

· Bring in an effective strategy to enforce the ban on hunting with hounds – the current ban is being treated with contempt by many. Breaching the Act should be a notifiable offence.

· Bring in a ban on wild animals in circuses – This they have promised to do.

· 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.

· Ban the use of snares

· 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 – its 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.

· Bring an end to ‘pet fairs’. Exotic animals are not good pets and the trade in wildlife is a threat to some species. Pet fairs are opposed by the British veterinary association due to their poor welfare.

Mahatma Gandhi said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. The same thought can be applied to political parties.

No election will ever be won just on animal welfare policy – but by extending social justice to animals, the Labour Party would distinguish itself from others and would secure the vote of those who associate it with kindness to animals. It would also be doing something because – quite simply – it is the right thing to do, not such a bad thing.

Wally Burley Chair Labour Animal Welfare Society and Mark Glover, Labour Animal Welfare Society Executive Member and Member of NPF, East Midlands.

Fox Facts

Having been a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 1999 and Chair of the Assembly All Party Animal Welfare Group since it’s inception in 2000, neuropathologist I have taken a lead on issues of animal welfare in the Assembly. This year, viagra order I am working on two particular issues – “puppy farms” and “badgers”.

Turning firstly to puppy farms, at the outset I would like to say that there are obviously reputable licensed dog breeders across Wales who take their responsibilities seriously and care for their dogs. It is important that we make the distinction between responsible breeders and those who seek only financial gain. Good breeders will take into consideration breed-specific health problems, genetic screening, the dog’s age as well as temperament before breeding. In contrast, dogs bred in these “puppy farms” are bred purely for profit, with little regard to animal welfare.

A puppy farmer is an intensive volume breeder who has little regard for the basic needs and care of the dogs concerned, and who seeks to make a profit from the sale of puppies. The topic of puppy farms has been in the news for many years and the programme Rogue Traders, showed dogs locked in cramped cages, with no bedding and were constantly crying and whimpering.

The RSPCA last year went undercover to a puppy farm to investigate conditions there. They purchased six puppies, two of which they later found out had potentially life threatening illnesses. One of these, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross was diagnosed with pneumonia and, despite constant care, died. There have also been cases documented in which families have bought dogs from puppy farms only to find out that they carried diseases which were passed on to other family pets, who in some cases also died.

The purpose of these farms is to make money and as such, many breeders will cut as many costs as possible. Despite it being illegal for a bitch to give birth to more than six litters in a lifetime and only once a year, puppy farmers will keep a number of female dogs who are used solely for breeding and their lives are a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth. Puppies are taken from them far too early and the mother dogs will be made pregnant again almost immediately. This puts a vast physical strain on them and when they are worn out and no longer able to breed they are usually killed.

When puppies are sold, they are often sent by van to ‘dealers’ in towns and cities, many are severely traumatised by the journeys and some do not make it alive. The dealers then place adverts in newspapers and magazines, often masquerading as breeders. Some breeders will sell their puppies from the back of a van or at a motorway service station. The public is unaware that this is how some puppy farmers operate and will not ask to see the puppy with its mother or the relevant certificates.

Many puppies from puppy farms are put on sale in pet shops and we should do all we can to urge people to stay away from pet shops when buying a puppy, as it is likely to have originated from a puppy farm. Good breeders would never sell their puppies via a pet shop.

If all breeders were to adhere to the law, disreputable puppy farms would not exist and dogs would be properly cared for. However, as we have seen, dogs continue to be mistreated at the hands of so-called breeders looking to make a quick buck. If some puppy farm owners are happy to ignore the current reasonable regulations, it is unlikely that new legislation would suffice in closing them down as illegal breeders are obviously adept at passing under the radar of detection.

There are therefore two ways in which we can improve the situation. The first is to find the puppy farms, examine the conditions the dogs are held in and close them down if necessary; the other is to ensure that the public is informed of the methods of puppy farms so that the demand is cut off at source. The simple message to those buying a puppy is to demand to see the puppy with its mother in its home environment and never to buy a puppy from the back of a van in the service stations.

By taking these practical steps and encouraging people to find out exactly where their dog comes from, it would become difficult for disreputable puppy farms to make a profit and they would be forced out of business. I believe this is the most effective means of preventing the cruelty to puppies and rewarding good breeders who take their responsibility seriously. We need to act now to bring an end this unnecessary suffering.

The second issue is the decision made by Elin Jones, the Plaid Cymru Minister for Rural Affairs in the Labour-Plaid coalition, to go ahead with a badger cull in Wales. Over the next four years, if she has her way, countless badgers will be killed in the name of eradicating bovine TB. This decision has been reached despite the lack of any convincing evidence that a badger cull will have any meaningful effect on the number of cattle who contract bovine TB.

Badgers are a protected species in Wales and this cull will decimate badger numbers across the country. Wales stands alone on this and, as the Minister admitted when announcing her decision to the chamber, there is no consensus amongst experts as to the effectiveness of a cull, but she’s planning to go ahead with it anyway.

The badger cull which was carried out in Ireland between 1997 and 2002 proved ineffective and cost the lives of thousands of healthy badgers and injured thousands more. It is apparent that the Minister has ignored the disastrous cull on the other side of the Irish Sea and instead is following advice based on mixed opinions. This simply cannot be justified and I just find the whole situation very distressing.

Countless animals will be killed and injured as a result of the two issues outlined above. I will continue to try and stop this cull, working within the law, alongside the Badger Trust, the RSPCA and a group of back-bench Assembly Members.
TB consultation starts in Wales

A THREE-month consultation on the proposed Tuberculosis Eradication (Wales) Order 2009 under the Animal Health Act 1It says TB in cattle is an infectious and debilitating disease which has increased dramatically since 1999 and last year more than 12,000 cattle in Wales were slaughtered because of the disease.

It also forecasts that by 2014 taxpayers could be paying more than £80 million to farmers in compensation if the disease continues to escalate at the current rate. The Welsh Assembly Government says it has set up a comprehensive programme to eradicate bovine TB and that since the programme was established new initiatives had been introduced, including more stringent measures aimed at tackling the spread of the disease by cattle. Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, had announced last month that, in her view and on the basis of evidence available, a cull of badgers in an Intensive Action Pilot Area was necessary to begin to address the reservoir of TB that exists in wildlife. It would take place in one area, alongside additional measures to tackle the disease in cattle She had also announced that the Welsh Assembly Government would assume responsibility for managing a badger cull. Although it would be possible to licence farmers or other individuals to undertake this work under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Assembly Government wanted to co-ordinate it, and so deliver a cull.

But in order to allow WAG to manage a cull it needed the powers to do so – and why secondary legislation under the Animal Health Act 1981 is needed.

The 12-week public consultation on the draft order runs from April 24 to July17. Copies of are available from the Welsh Assembly Government TB team or from the Assembly Government’s website.

Members are urged to take part in the consultation to oppose the Badger Cull.
The Red Fox is a native of Britain and is basically a small wild dog. It is at the top of its food chain and its population has never been subject to control by the predation of other species. The fox population is controlled by availability of food in a defended territory. The territory can be occupied by a fox family or a pair. A family usually consists of one dog fox and 1-3 vixens of which only the dominant vixen will produce a litter. Foxes generally mate in January and produce their cubs in March. An average litter is 4-5 cubs. During the summer the family will stay together living mainly above ground, physician but in the autumn and through the winter the young males will leave to find their own territories and mates. The young vixens may stay on to assist with the care of the following year’s litter produced by the dominant vixen. This is a natural method of population suppression.

Foxes are highly adaptable and live on a diet of earthworms, beetles, rodents, rabbits and carrion. Foxes do not deserve their reputation as pests of agriculture. Losses of lambs, piglets and poultry to foxes are insignificant compared to poor husbandry. Local problems with fox predation on livestock can be prevented by electric fencing and secure housing. Foxes do no damage to crops and are very beneficial to farmers by consuming rabbits, voles and other pests of agricultural crops.

Foxes have a potential lifespan comparable to a small dog – up to 14 years in captivity. However in the wild only a minority of foxes survive their first year, and most (about 95 per cent) die before their first birthday. This heavy death rate is generally due to man.

Urban foxes pose no significant threat to the health of humans or domestic animals. Reports of foxes killing cats are rare and generally unsubstantiated. Other pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs can be protected by secure housing – foxes do not carry keys.

In general, most urban fox ‘problems’ are more imaginary than real. Most real problems are isolated cases and are more likely to cure themselves (often when a litter of cubs grows up and moves away) than they are to be cured by outside interference.

Puppy Farms and Badgers by Lorraine Barrett AM

Having been a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 1999 and Chair of the Assembly All Party Animal Welfare Group since it’s inception in 2000, neuropathologist I have taken a lead on issues of animal welfare in the Assembly. This year, viagra order I am working on two particular issues – “puppy farms” and “badgers”.

Turning firstly to puppy farms, at the outset I would like to say that there are obviously reputable licensed dog breeders across Wales who take their responsibilities seriously and care for their dogs. It is important that we make the distinction between responsible breeders and those who seek only financial gain. Good breeders will take into consideration breed-specific health problems, genetic screening, the dog’s age as well as temperament before breeding. In contrast, dogs bred in these “puppy farms” are bred purely for profit, with little regard to animal welfare.

A puppy farmer is an intensive volume breeder who has little regard for the basic needs and care of the dogs concerned, and who seeks to make a profit from the sale of puppies. The topic of puppy farms has been in the news for many years and the programme Rogue Traders, showed dogs locked in cramped cages, with no bedding and were constantly crying and whimpering.

The RSPCA last year went undercover to a puppy farm to investigate conditions there. They purchased six puppies, two of which they later found out had potentially life threatening illnesses. One of these, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross was diagnosed with pneumonia and, despite constant care, died. There have also been cases documented in which families have bought dogs from puppy farms only to find out that they carried diseases which were passed on to other family pets, who in some cases also died.

The purpose of these farms is to make money and as such, many breeders will cut as many costs as possible. Despite it being illegal for a bitch to give birth to more than six litters in a lifetime and only once a year, puppy farmers will keep a number of female dogs who are used solely for breeding and their lives are a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth. Puppies are taken from them far too early and the mother dogs will be made pregnant again almost immediately. This puts a vast physical strain on them and when they are worn out and no longer able to breed they are usually killed.

When puppies are sold, they are often sent by van to ‘dealers’ in towns and cities, many are severely traumatised by the journeys and some do not make it alive. The dealers then place adverts in newspapers and magazines, often masquerading as breeders. Some breeders will sell their puppies from the back of a van or at a motorway service station. The public is unaware that this is how some puppy farmers operate and will not ask to see the puppy with its mother or the relevant certificates.

Many puppies from puppy farms are put on sale in pet shops and we should do all we can to urge people to stay away from pet shops when buying a puppy, as it is likely to have originated from a puppy farm. Good breeders would never sell their puppies via a pet shop.

If all breeders were to adhere to the law, disreputable puppy farms would not exist and dogs would be properly cared for. However, as we have seen, dogs continue to be mistreated at the hands of so-called breeders looking to make a quick buck. If some puppy farm owners are happy to ignore the current reasonable regulations, it is unlikely that new legislation would suffice in closing them down as illegal breeders are obviously adept at passing under the radar of detection.

There are therefore two ways in which we can improve the situation. The first is to find the puppy farms, examine the conditions the dogs are held in and close them down if necessary; the other is to ensure that the public is informed of the methods of puppy farms so that the demand is cut off at source. The simple message to those buying a puppy is to demand to see the puppy with its mother in its home environment and never to buy a puppy from the back of a van in the service stations.

By taking these practical steps and encouraging people to find out exactly where their dog comes from, it would become difficult for disreputable puppy farms to make a profit and they would be forced out of business. I believe this is the most effective means of preventing the cruelty to puppies and rewarding good breeders who take their responsibility seriously. We need to act now to bring an end this unnecessary suffering.

The second issue is the decision made by Elin Jones, the Plaid Cymru Minister for Rural Affairs in the Labour-Plaid coalition, to go ahead with a badger cull in Wales. Over the next four years, if she has her way, countless badgers will be killed in the name of eradicating bovine TB. This decision has been reached despite the lack of any convincing evidence that a badger cull will have any meaningful effect on the number of cattle who contract bovine TB.

Badgers are a protected species in Wales and this cull will decimate badger numbers across the country. Wales stands alone on this and, as the Minister admitted when announcing her decision to the chamber, there is no consensus amongst experts as to the effectiveness of a cull, but she’s planning to go ahead with it anyway.

The badger cull which was carried out in Ireland between 1997 and 2002 proved ineffective and cost the lives of thousands of healthy badgers and injured thousands more. It is apparent that the Minister has ignored the disastrous cull on the other side of the Irish Sea and instead is following advice based on mixed opinions. This simply cannot be justified and I just find the whole situation very distressing.

Countless animals will be killed and injured as a result of the two issues outlined above. I will continue to try and stop this cull, working within the law, alongside the Badger Trust, the RSPCA and a group of back-bench Assembly Members.
TB consultation starts in Wales

A THREE-month consultation on the proposed Tuberculosis Eradication (Wales) Order 2009 under the Animal Health Act 1It says TB in cattle is an infectious and debilitating disease which has increased dramatically since 1999 and last year more than 12,000 cattle in Wales were slaughtered because of the disease.

It also forecasts that by 2014 taxpayers could be paying more than £80 million to farmers in compensation if the disease continues to escalate at the current rate. The Welsh Assembly Government says it has set up a comprehensive programme to eradicate bovine TB and that since the programme was established new initiatives had been introduced, including more stringent measures aimed at tackling the spread of the disease by cattle. Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, had announced last month that, in her view and on the basis of evidence available, a cull of badgers in an Intensive Action Pilot Area was necessary to begin to address the reservoir of TB that exists in wildlife. It would take place in one area, alongside additional measures to tackle the disease in cattle She had also announced that the Welsh Assembly Government would assume responsibility for managing a badger cull. Although it would be possible to licence farmers or other individuals to undertake this work under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Assembly Government wanted to co-ordinate it, and so deliver a cull.

But in order to allow WAG to manage a cull it needed the powers to do so – and why secondary legislation under the Animal Health Act 1981 is needed.

The 12-week public consultation on the draft order runs from April 24 to July17. Copies of are available from the Welsh Assembly Government TB team or from the Assembly Government’s website.

Members are urged to take part in the consultation to oppose the Badger Cull.

European Parliament Ban the Import of Seal, Sea Lion and Walrus Skins in the 27 Countries of the European Union

Maria Micallef , symptoms Malta , neurologist LAWS Member

For a copy of the background research document to this article, cialis 40mg please contact Wally Burley at 07833 664032 or walter@burley57.wanadoo.co.uk.

As many animal welfare activists will be aware the establishment of the International Whaling Commission was to regulate whaling with its primary role being to end commercial whaling and regulate whaling to ensure the prevention of unnecessary whaling and prevent the extinction of rare whale species. Since its inception a key member and controversial advocate of whaling has been Japan , who have campaigned endlessly for the right to continue whaling without regulation. The IWC provides a forum for both pro whaling and anti whaling nations, pro whaling nations like Japan use the auspices of scientific research to continue their whaling activities, as it also serves their apparent requirement for whale meat, which under the rules of the IWC cannot be wasted. However it is currently reported that there is an excess of whale meat therefore a number of anti whaling nations propose the argument that whaling should stop because neither is it needed for scientific research when there are other methods that can be used and with the reducing demand for whale meat the process is becoming an unnecessary slaughter of the mammals.

The original purpose of the IWC as enshrined in the 1946 International Convention for the regulation of Whaling states that it should “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”. This statement has been interpreted in two ways by the anti and pro whaling nations. The anti whaling nations like Australia and the United Kingdom feel that in short based on the original statement the role of the IWC should be one that ensures that whaling is not carried out unnecessarily to protect the lives of thousands of whales, however pro whaling nations like Japan interpret the role of the IWC to be one of a regulating body that sets quotas ensuring that stocks are sustainable and regulates the act of whaling rather than aiming to stop it all together. Consequentially meetings of the IWC are often the location of heated discussion on the issue and many nations seek the support of other nations to assist them in their argument.

In recent years it has become apparent that Japan has been using its financial power to win the support of a number of nations on the issue of whaling at the IWC, this article focuses on Japan ’s actions to ensure the support of a number of small nations located in the Pacific Ocean and some countries in Africa . In particular there have been many reports surrounding 12 small nations where Japan has provided financial assistance in the form of grants and other financial programmes for which in return Japan expects their unequivocal support. Taking each nation in turn it will become apparent that these countries in many cases do not have whaling interests and in fact some benefit from the presence of whales near their shores as a source of revenue for the area of tourism. Some have even commented that their membership of the IWC is solely a result of the pressure placed by Japan on these countries to the point that Japan also meets the cost of their subscription fees to be members of the Whaling Commission.

Taking each of these nations in turn it will become apparent as to what benefits they have enjoyed as a result of their support for Japan ;

Antigua and Barbuda is an island nation located in the Eastern Caribbean Sea , which has been an independent state since 1981 and has a population of just under 83,000. As a member of the IWC and advocate of Japan ’s stance on the issue of whaling the nation’s government is due to receive from the Japanese Government 17.02 million US dollars for the development of two fishing landings and storage complexes. Demonstrating the strongest hint yet that the reason for Antigua and Barbuda’s support for the Japanese on the issue of whaling is a direct result of the financial aid the country receives the Planning Minister Gastron Browne was asked whether their vote in support of Japan at the IWC was a factor in the country receiving the grant he commented “If we were to antagonise them I imagine that they would not be so anxious to assist us.

It would appear that this is also the case for the Republic of Cameroon , known for being one of the most corrupt governments in the world with a poor human rights record it comes as no surprise to find Cameroon as one of the 12 nations listed to be voting with Japan at the IWC in return for financial assistance. Over the past years Japan has made a number of significant contributions to the country. It has been recorded that between 1951 and 1998 Japan has accumulatively invested 1,276 million yen and have also provided the Republic of Cameroon with 10.5 billion yen in loans, 10.1 billion yens in grants and 2 billion yen in technical assistance.

The Republic of the Gambia is a country in Western Africa, which in February 1965 became independent from the former British Empire and joined the Commonwealth. Japan in exchange for Gambia ‘s support at the IWC announced in July of this year that it was funding a multi million dalasi fish market. The grant which amounts to around 630 million Japanese yen is to provide extensive facilities for the coastal area of Brikama and additionally it will also mean that a new water supply system will be installed to maintain a healthy hygienic environment.

Grenada is an island nation, which includes the southern Grenadines in the South eastern Caribbean Sea and has a population of 900,343. Grenada has benefited via cultural grant aid from Japan , which amounts to 46.6 million yen over almost 30 years (between 1975 and 2004). Japan is also fiscally known as Grenada ‘s top ranking donor. In return for the financial assistance Grenada demonstrated their anti whaling stance in 2001 when they made a number of statements against the IWC’s proposal for a whale sanctuary, which was due to be discussed at a meeting of the IWC in the June of 2001. Prior to this particular meeting Japan had allegedly bribed government officials to oppose the proposal for the whale sanctuary, all of the officials in question had made their very vocal opposition to the whale sanctuary whilst driving brand new Japanese made SUVs.

The republic of Kiribati is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean , which is a member of the commonwealth with a population of 110,356. Japan has been a financial supporter of Kiribati via official development assistance. The project is for the second phase of the upgrading of the electric power supply in Tarawa costing the equivalent of 1,350,000 US dollars. The first phase of the project was also funded by Japan at an approximate cost of 10.1 million dollars. An enhanced power system has the benefits once fully implemented of reaching the citizens of Kiribati in terms of convenience, cost and reliability. This is part of ongoing financial support provided by Japan to Kiribati aiming to assist their development and long term goal of economic stability. It is important to note that Kiribati has been a staunch supporter of the Japanese and their pro whaling stance at the various meetings of the IWC.

The Republic of Nauru is an island nation in the Micronesian South Pacific, which is a member of the Commonwealth with a population of 13,770. In 2007 Japan approved a proposal to supply Nauru with grant assistance under their Human Security Projects Programme. They signed a commitment to the government of Nauru which began with 45 new water tanks worth nearly 76 thousand US dollars to assist their problems with water shortages. Japan on approving the assistance highlighted their hope that the assistance provided would help strengthen the friendly ties between the two countries.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea with a population of 118,432. As part of their Overseas Development Aid Japan has awarded the island with various grants on various auspices from the education of young children to the maintenance of their hospitals. As a whaling nation Japan has also provided substantial financial assistance to the Bequia Indigenous Whalers Association, as it is one of the only nations that the IWC allows to hunt whales but they have a limit of 4 per year and have to use the traditional method of hand thrown harpoons from small open sailing boats and it is very rare that they reach their limit, in fact some years they don’t catch any at all.

Tuvalu , which is formerly known as the Ellice Islands is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean , which is midway between Hawaii and Australia , which has a population of just 12,177 and is the second smallest member of the United Nations in terms of population. Despite their closeness with Australia , the government of Tuvalu does not support their views with regards to the issue of whaling. Japan has provided financial assistance to the country for various water projects including a desalination plant and they also plan to build another one for them. By 1998 the Japanese had accumulatively invested over 25 million US dollars in the country. In return it has been noted that the representatives of Tuvalu at the IWC vote along side Japan and therefore come down on the side of the pro-whalers.

The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is a federal two island nation located in the West Indies , it is an independent commonwealth realm, which has Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and has a population of 42,696. In 2005 Japan awarded a grant of 5,609,090 million dollars for their project for Artisanal

Fisheries Development and in September 2004 they had given the country 18,425 dollars. In return for the grant Japan won the declaration of St. Kitts at the IWC, this meant that Japan and the whaling lobby had finally gained a simple majority at the IWC where 33 countries voted in favour of what has become known as the ‘St Kitts Declaration’, which stated that the IWC had failed to meet its obligations under the terms of the ICRW and they further went on to say that it would be working to normalize the functions of the IWC upon the terms of the ICRW. Therefore it is more than apparent that following Japan ‘s financial investment in the country they are in exchange providing the Japanese with very vocal support on the issue of whaling at the IWC.

The Solomon Islands is a country in Melanesia located east of Papua New Guinea , which consists of about 1000 islands and has a total population of 581,318. The islands are characterised by weak political parties and highly unstable parliamentary coalitions and therefore it is no surprise that with these circumstances financial assistance provided by Japan to the people of the islands via the development of an 8 million US dollar jetty has in turn been rewarded via their support for Japan at the meetings of the IWC. In actual fact it has been recorded by former government officials that Japan paid for the island’s pro whaling vote and additionally also paid the costs of the island’s representatives attending the IWC and more concerning have also given pay offs to many of the Island’s politicians and have made significant election contributions to the different political parties. At the present time the Solomon Islands appear to be supportive of Japan however the Prime Minister of the islands has made assurances to the Australian Government about their stance on pro whaling and their plan to review it accordingly. With this in mind it is unclear as to how the islands will proceed as it would appear that they are attempting to accommodate both sides of the discussion, which is an impossible quest.

The Commonwealth of Dominica , which is another small island located in the Caribbean Sea with its promise to assist Japan at the IWC have also benefited from the Japanese via a 12.2 million US dollar fisheries project. However the relationship between the two countries has been short-lived, what began in 2004 at an IWC meeting has now recently ended with a statement issued earlier this year by the Dominican Government stating that they will no longer vote with Japan on the issue of commercial whaling.

Despite Japan ‘s strong verbal protests that they are not in the habit of buying votes at the IWC, it is apparent that the evidence suggests otherwise. Japan is not likely to give up their pro whaling stance however looking at the Solomon Islands and the Commonwealth of Dominica it is apparent that countries to which Japan provide financial assistance are considering their options and some may not necessarily be voting with them again. This is something that we hope will spread to the other countries and that they too will reassess the situation.
Labour News from European Parliamentary Labour Party

Labour Euro MP Arlene McCarthy, prescription Chair of the European Parliament’s influential Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee has today, cure Tuesday 5 May 2009, won the backing of the full Parliament for the agreement she negotiated with the Council and Commission for a ban on the trade in seal products in the European Union.

Arlene said: “This law is a victory for people power and a credit to the campaigners involved. The vast majority of people across the United Kingdom and Europe are horrified by the cruel clubbing to death of seals. This law will ensure there is no European market for these products and put an end to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of seals every year.”

Arlene added: “It has been a battle to get this law on the statute book. Sustained last minute lobbying by non-EU countries has sought to demonise Europe for ending a trade which in reality is collapsing around the world. I have been determined to steer this law into place as a clear expression of the will of the European public.”

Nicki Brooks director of campaigning group Respect for Animals said: “This is a truly fantastic day for the seals. Without Arlene McCarthy’s leadership and commitment this ban would not have been possible.”

Nicki added: “Lib Dem Euro MP Diana Wallis, the rapporteur for the proposal, attempted to ignore the Commission’s original proposal and put forward a labelling scheme instead. This clearly did not meet the expectations of the public and Arlene deserves great credit for championing both the seals and the electorate by ensuring that labelling was replaced by a robust ban. This ban will save the lives of millions of seals.”

Arlene added: “The impact of this impending ban has already been felt. Thanks to the continuing collapse in the fur price the Canadian hunt has killed less than 60,000 seals this year, down from over 220,000 last year.

Japan and the Politics of Extinction

Maria Micallef , symptoms Malta , neurologist LAWS Member

For a copy of the background research document to this article, cialis 40mg please contact Wally Burley at 07833 664032 or walter@burley57.wanadoo.co.uk.

As many animal welfare activists will be aware the establishment of the International Whaling Commission was to regulate whaling with its primary role being to end commercial whaling and regulate whaling to ensure the prevention of unnecessary whaling and prevent the extinction of rare whale species. Since its inception a key member and controversial advocate of whaling has been Japan , who have campaigned endlessly for the right to continue whaling without regulation. The IWC provides a forum for both pro whaling and anti whaling nations, pro whaling nations like Japan use the auspices of scientific research to continue their whaling activities, as it also serves their apparent requirement for whale meat, which under the rules of the IWC cannot be wasted. However it is currently reported that there is an excess of whale meat therefore a number of anti whaling nations propose the argument that whaling should stop because neither is it needed for scientific research when there are other methods that can be used and with the reducing demand for whale meat the process is becoming an unnecessary slaughter of the mammals.

The original purpose of the IWC as enshrined in the 1946 International Convention for the regulation of Whaling states that it should “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”. This statement has been interpreted in two ways by the anti and pro whaling nations. The anti whaling nations like Australia and the United Kingdom feel that in short based on the original statement the role of the IWC should be one that ensures that whaling is not carried out unnecessarily to protect the lives of thousands of whales, however pro whaling nations like Japan interpret the role of the IWC to be one of a regulating body that sets quotas ensuring that stocks are sustainable and regulates the act of whaling rather than aiming to stop it all together. Consequentially meetings of the IWC are often the location of heated discussion on the issue and many nations seek the support of other nations to assist them in their argument.

In recent years it has become apparent that Japan has been using its financial power to win the support of a number of nations on the issue of whaling at the IWC, this article focuses on Japan ’s actions to ensure the support of a number of small nations located in the Pacific Ocean and some countries in Africa . In particular there have been many reports surrounding 12 small nations where Japan has provided financial assistance in the form of grants and other financial programmes for which in return Japan expects their unequivocal support. Taking each nation in turn it will become apparent that these countries in many cases do not have whaling interests and in fact some benefit from the presence of whales near their shores as a source of revenue for the area of tourism. Some have even commented that their membership of the IWC is solely a result of the pressure placed by Japan on these countries to the point that Japan also meets the cost of their subscription fees to be members of the Whaling Commission.

Taking each of these nations in turn it will become apparent as to what benefits they have enjoyed as a result of their support for Japan ;

Antigua and Barbuda is an island nation located in the Eastern Caribbean Sea , which has been an independent state since 1981 and has a population of just under 83,000. As a member of the IWC and advocate of Japan ’s stance on the issue of whaling the nation’s government is due to receive from the Japanese Government 17.02 million US dollars for the development of two fishing landings and storage complexes. Demonstrating the strongest hint yet that the reason for Antigua and Barbuda’s support for the Japanese on the issue of whaling is a direct result of the financial aid the country receives the Planning Minister Gastron Browne was asked whether their vote in support of Japan at the IWC was a factor in the country receiving the grant he commented “If we were to antagonise them I imagine that they would not be so anxious to assist us.

It would appear that this is also the case for the Republic of Cameroon , known for being one of the most corrupt governments in the world with a poor human rights record it comes as no surprise to find Cameroon as one of the 12 nations listed to be voting with Japan at the IWC in return for financial assistance. Over the past years Japan has made a number of significant contributions to the country. It has been recorded that between 1951 and 1998 Japan has accumulatively invested 1,276 million yen and have also provided the Republic of Cameroon with 10.5 billion yen in loans, 10.1 billion yens in grants and 2 billion yen in technical assistance.

The Republic of the Gambia is a country in Western Africa, which in February 1965 became independent from the former British Empire and joined the Commonwealth. Japan in exchange for Gambia ‘s support at the IWC announced in July of this year that it was funding a multi million dalasi fish market. The grant which amounts to around 630 million Japanese yen is to provide extensive facilities for the coastal area of Brikama and additionally it will also mean that a new water supply system will be installed to maintain a healthy hygienic environment.

Grenada is an island nation, which includes the southern Grenadines in the South eastern Caribbean Sea and has a population of 900,343. Grenada has benefited via cultural grant aid from Japan , which amounts to 46.6 million yen over almost 30 years (between 1975 and 2004). Japan is also fiscally known as Grenada ‘s top ranking donor. In return for the financial assistance Grenada demonstrated their anti whaling stance in 2001 when they made a number of statements against the IWC’s proposal for a whale sanctuary, which was due to be discussed at a meeting of the IWC in the June of 2001. Prior to this particular meeting Japan had allegedly bribed government officials to oppose the proposal for the whale sanctuary, all of the officials in question had made their very vocal opposition to the whale sanctuary whilst driving brand new Japanese made SUVs.

The republic of Kiribati is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean , which is a member of the commonwealth with a population of 110,356. Japan has been a financial supporter of Kiribati via official development assistance. The project is for the second phase of the upgrading of the electric power supply in Tarawa costing the equivalent of 1,350,000 US dollars. The first phase of the project was also funded by Japan at an approximate cost of 10.1 million dollars. An enhanced power system has the benefits once fully implemented of reaching the citizens of Kiribati in terms of convenience, cost and reliability. This is part of ongoing financial support provided by Japan to Kiribati aiming to assist their development and long term goal of economic stability. It is important to note that Kiribati has been a staunch supporter of the Japanese and their pro whaling stance at the various meetings of the IWC.

The Republic of Nauru is an island nation in the Micronesian South Pacific, which is a member of the Commonwealth with a population of 13,770. In 2007 Japan approved a proposal to supply Nauru with grant assistance under their Human Security Projects Programme. They signed a commitment to the government of Nauru which began with 45 new water tanks worth nearly 76 thousand US dollars to assist their problems with water shortages. Japan on approving the assistance highlighted their hope that the assistance provided would help strengthen the friendly ties between the two countries.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea with a population of 118,432. As part of their Overseas Development Aid Japan has awarded the island with various grants on various auspices from the education of young children to the maintenance of their hospitals. As a whaling nation Japan has also provided substantial financial assistance to the Bequia Indigenous Whalers Association, as it is one of the only nations that the IWC allows to hunt whales but they have a limit of 4 per year and have to use the traditional method of hand thrown harpoons from small open sailing boats and it is very rare that they reach their limit, in fact some years they don’t catch any at all.

Tuvalu , which is formerly known as the Ellice Islands is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean , which is midway between Hawaii and Australia , which has a population of just 12,177 and is the second smallest member of the United Nations in terms of population. Despite their closeness with Australia , the government of Tuvalu does not support their views with regards to the issue of whaling. Japan has provided financial assistance to the country for various water projects including a desalination plant and they also plan to build another one for them. By 1998 the Japanese had accumulatively invested over 25 million US dollars in the country. In return it has been noted that the representatives of Tuvalu at the IWC vote along side Japan and therefore come down on the side of the pro-whalers.

The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is a federal two island nation located in the West Indies , it is an independent commonwealth realm, which has Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and has a population of 42,696. In 2005 Japan awarded a grant of 5,609,090 million dollars for their project for Artisanal

Fisheries Development and in September 2004 they had given the country 18,425 dollars. In return for the grant Japan won the declaration of St. Kitts at the IWC, this meant that Japan and the whaling lobby had finally gained a simple majority at the IWC where 33 countries voted in favour of what has become known as the ‘St Kitts Declaration’, which stated that the IWC had failed to meet its obligations under the terms of the ICRW and they further went on to say that it would be working to normalize the functions of the IWC upon the terms of the ICRW. Therefore it is more than apparent that following Japan ‘s financial investment in the country they are in exchange providing the Japanese with very vocal support on the issue of whaling at the IWC.

The Solomon Islands is a country in Melanesia located east of Papua New Guinea , which consists of about 1000 islands and has a total population of 581,318. The islands are characterised by weak political parties and highly unstable parliamentary coalitions and therefore it is no surprise that with these circumstances financial assistance provided by Japan to the people of the islands via the development of an 8 million US dollar jetty has in turn been rewarded via their support for Japan at the meetings of the IWC. In actual fact it has been recorded by former government officials that Japan paid for the island’s pro whaling vote and additionally also paid the costs of the island’s representatives attending the IWC and more concerning have also given pay offs to many of the Island’s politicians and have made significant election contributions to the different political parties. At the present time the Solomon Islands appear to be supportive of Japan however the Prime Minister of the islands has made assurances to the Australian Government about their stance on pro whaling and their plan to review it accordingly. With this in mind it is unclear as to how the islands will proceed as it would appear that they are attempting to accommodate both sides of the discussion, which is an impossible quest.

The Commonwealth of Dominica , which is another small island located in the Caribbean Sea with its promise to assist Japan at the IWC have also benefited from the Japanese via a 12.2 million US dollar fisheries project. However the relationship between the two countries has been short-lived, what began in 2004 at an IWC meeting has now recently ended with a statement issued earlier this year by the Dominican Government stating that they will no longer vote with Japan on the issue of commercial whaling.

Despite Japan ‘s strong verbal protests that they are not in the habit of buying votes at the IWC, it is apparent that the evidence suggests otherwise. Japan is not likely to give up their pro whaling stance however looking at the Solomon Islands and the Commonwealth of Dominica it is apparent that countries to which Japan provide financial assistance are considering their options and some may not necessarily be voting with them again. This is something that we hope will spread to the other countries and that they too will reassess the situation.

Stop the Tories to save animals

Wally Burley, public health Chair Labour Animal Welfare Society

If you wish to help us in the Campaign then contact Labour Animal Welfare Society via our contact page.

The Conservative Party has pledged that if they become the next Government they will hold a new vote in Parliament to reverse Labour’s ban on “Hunting with Dogs”. David Cameron, tuberculosis the Conservative Leader, pharmacy has also pledged to bring back “Hunting with Dogs” with all the cruelty that goes with it.

In a recent poll 75% of voters in Britain were in favour of keeping the ban and only 16% wanted to bring hunting back.

It is vital that everyone who cares about animal welfare plays their part to ensure that Cameron does not get into power. The public must be shown just what he and his hunting friends represent. Cameron’s so called ‘compassionate conservatism’ is a huge fraud.

What does it say about someone if they want to bring back this barbaric so called sport to our countryside? If David Cameron gets pleasure from seeing animals chased to exhaustion and ripped apart, all for fun, what will he do to the rest of us with the power of Government behind him?

If you want further proof, David Cameron has appointed Nick Herbert as his Shadow Minister for Defra. He was a founding member of the Countryside Alliance and Mr. Herbert was a Master and Huntsman of the Newmarket Beagles for 14 seasons. Before that he was Master and Huntsman of the Trinity Foot Beagles and whipped in for the Essex Foxhounds.

Labour must stay in power for the Hunting Act to stay in place.

The Liberals cannot be trusted on animal welfare as more than 50% of their MPs voted against the “Hunting with Dogs” legislation. Some of the Liberals are also in the so called “Middle Way Group” in Parliament which use the same arguments put forward by the Countryside Alliance to support animals being killed for Hunters’ pleasure.

It is important that everyone who cares about animal welfare plays their part to ensure that we do not get a Tory Government. The public must be shown just what David Cameron and his hunting friends represent.

Cameron’s so called ‘compassionate conservatism’ is a huge fraud.

Don’t let the Tories bring in the massive slaughter of badgers

The former Tory Shadow Defra Minister Jim Paice accused Hilary Benn of a ‘complete failure’ to address the problem of bovine TB. Speaking at the Royal Show, he said the Conservatives would have been culling badgers for the “past two or three years” as the evidence shows this is the only way to curb the spread of the disease. There is no doubt that if a Tory Government gets elected they would start culling badgers as quickly as possible. We know that the Tories, Liberal Democrats and Famers’ Union are in favour of the cull.

The Liberal Democrat agriculture spokesman in the House of Lords, Lord Redesdale accused Defra of taking the easy way out in deciding not to cull badgers. He claimed the decision was a clear indication that the Government had ignored the voices of farmers and the Government would be to blame when the disease spreads.

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, told the House of Commons that even large scale culling of badgers only produced “marginal benefits” and that whilst a prolonged cull over even larger areas “might work, it might also not work”. He therefore concluded: “I do not think that it would be right to take this risk.”

Trevor Lawson, for the Badger Trust, said, “We are delighted that Hilary Benn has based his decision on sound science. The Government and the farming industry can now move forward together in controlling the disease in a way which supports rather than harms the industry. Eradication is a long way off, but the science clearly shows that control is rapidly within our grasp, provided that the farming unions are prepared to work towards it.”

If a Conservative Government gets elected not only will they bring back “Hunting with Dogs” but also there will be a mass slaughter of badgers.

I have been involved in Animal Welfare and in particular “Hunting with Dogs” since the introduction of a Private Members Bill in Parliament during the 1945-50 Labour Government. The Government of the time did not support the bill and it was lost at the second reading and another Private members Bill was withdrawn because of little support. Then and now no Government has done very much on Animal Welfare except the present Labour Government. Not only have they banned Hunting and not carried out the Badger Cull. They have:

* Banned Fur Farming.
* Ended the testing of cosmetics on animals and supported legislation that will end cosmetic testing on animals throughout the European Union.
* Introduced the Pet Travel Scheme and provided provisions to ensure that guide dogs could travel in the aircraft cabin with their owners.
* Persuaded Europe to make animals sentient beings.
* Introduced and carried a major piece of legislation which brought together 20 pieces of animal welfare legislation, some nearly 100 years old. An owner or keeper of animals will have to abide by the provisions set out to ensure that its welfare needs are met, providing a suitable environment, providing adequate food and water, allowing animal/s to exhibit normal behaviour, allow it to be housed with/apart from its own or other species, given appropriate protection from and diagnosis and treatment of pain, injury and disease. This new Bill provides for the Police and local authorities to take action on the possibility there is an animal or animals being treated cruelly and before the bill when there had to be evidence that an animal was being treated cruelly.
* The Labour Government has increased the penalty for wildlife trade crime and also has set up a new National Criminal Intelligence Service Unit to tackle illegal international trade in wildlife.
* Not forgetting the agricultural improvements including recognition for the first time animals as sentient beings, and tighter live transport regulations.
* The Labour Government pressurised and got a ban on sow stalls throughout the European Union by 2013. They also go a total ban on sow tethers in 2006.
* The laying hen directive for the whole of the European Union.
* The Labour Government is also in the fore on banning the import of seals, seal lions, and walrus skins into the European Union.

There is a lot more to be done but at least it is the best start we have ever had.

We must look to the future and accepts everything isn’t perfect but only Labour can improve things.

We have serious concerns about the Hunting Act, which either needs to be better enforced by the Police’s forces of law and order or amended to ensure it is more effective. However this improvement of the effectiveness of the ban can only take place if Labour is re-elected.

There are many other areas of domestic and wild animal protection, here and internationally, that need addressing. We are convinced the only way this can happen is if Labour is re-elected.

Our Labour Members of the European Parliament have been to the fore in Animal Welfare and we must do all we can to get as many Labour MEPs elected in the forthcoming European elections in June of this year.

Animal Welfare 10 Point Plan

1. Fully implement and enforce the Animal Welfare Act. Each police force should have specialist animal welfare knowledge and officers.
2. To provide safe homes for pets of people needing refuge from domestic violence.
3. Fur labelling to show consumers if items on sale are made with real animal fur.
4. Animal experiments. Proper funding for the National Centre for the Replacement, physician drugstore Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Testing.
5. Humane trade policy should reflect public opinion and help to end international atrocities committed against animals.
6. Humane food policy. Food products should carry welfare labels, high farm animal welfare standards need to be adopted and vegetarian and vegan food readily available in schools, prisons and other institutions.
7. Snares and anti-coagulant rodenticides should be banned.
8. The link between human violence and animal abuse needs to be fully recognised, understood and embraced in policy matters.
9. Hunting with hounds. Proper enforcement is needed as well as proper penalties for offenders.
10. A new Protection of Mammals Act to be introduced to provide mammals with the same protection afforded to birds.