A Better Life For Animals: a proposed animal welfare manifesto

LAWS urges Labour to adopt proposed animal welfare manifesto

Download the full proposed manifesto here

The Labour Animal Welfare Society  (LAWS) has published ‘A Better Life For Animals’,  a proposed animal welfare manifesto containing policies designed to improve animal welfare in Britain under the next Labour government. LAWS is urging the leadership of the Labour Party to endorse this policy platform ahead of the next general election. The policies are practical, demonstrably attractive to voters, involve little or no costs and would effectively ensure real change.

The manifesto contains specific policies under six clear pledges, which are designed to fit onto an animal welfare pledge card.

The six pledges are:

  1. Help struggling families keep their pets happy, healthy and at home
  2. Strengthen animal protection laws and punish animal cruelty
  3. Work with farmers to maintain high farm animal welfare
  4. Ensure animal welfare is included in international trade
  5. Accelerate the transition to animal -free science
  6. Tackle the collapse in biodiversity and protect wild animals

Under these headings, there are 31 specific policies including tackling puppy and kitten smuggling, making pet abduction a specific criminal offence, establishing core standards in animal welfare for trade deals, banning the import and sale of real fur, reinstating the full ban on animal testing for cosmetics and strengthening the Hunting Act.

The British public cares deeply about animal welfare, as demonstrated in the 2022 report ‘Winning Together’, also published by LAWS. The report established that a majority supports the fox hunting ban, supports bans on shooting birds for sport and on the use of snares, opposes the badger cull and the use of the whip in horse racing, supports a ban on imports of fur and hunting trophies, and believes the Government should increase the level of animal protection.

Both Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner pledged strong support for animal welfare during the 2020 leadership elections. Meanwhile, the Conservative government has consistently betrayed animals despite making big promises at the last election and throughout this current parliament, shelving the Kept Animals Bill and failing to even bring the Animals Abroad Bill to parliament.

Labour’s National Policy Forum (NPF) Final Policy Documents  that will be voted on at Labour’s conference next week says: ‘Labour will close loopholes in the fox hunting ban, outlaw trophy hunting, including imports from overseas, and ensure animal welfare in the UK is of the highest standard.’

Chair of LAWS, Mark Glover, said:

“Labour has shown itself to be the only party to trust on issues of animal welfare. Before the 1997 election, the ‘New Life For Animals’ document proved popular with voters and was explicitly endorsed by the then Labour leader, Tony Blair. Policy pledges implemented by Labour when in government included banning hunting with hounds, banning fur farming and bringing in a new Animal Welfare Act. This is a record to be proud of.

“In ‘A Better Life For Animals’, we are promoting effective, low cost, popular policies. We urge the current Labour leadership to learn the lessons of the 1997 victory by endorsing our proposed animal welfare manifesto. These policies would help to ensure the NPF’s call for the highest standard of animal welfare in the UK is made real.

“Animal welfare is a proud part of the Labour tradition: by endorsing our proposed animal welfare manifesto, Labour can attract voters and improve the lives of animals.”

Download the full proposed manifesto here