Stop the Tories to save animals

Wally Burley, 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, the Conservative Leader, 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.