View Full Version : Posters for Animal Rights stalls and party policies (UK)

Mar 17th, 2005, 05:18 PM
Thanks to Uncaged Campaigns for this email they sent me (sorry it's a bit long, but it is useful):

Posters for PAD stalls

As you will know, we've been researching and developing a groundbreaking project aimed at tackling the neglect of animal rights issues by our political system. Entitled 'Protecting Animals in Democracy' ('PAD'), http://www.vote4animals.org.uk (Vote4Animals) the initial aim of the campaign is to influence the vote at the forthcoming General Election, which is expected to take place on May 5th. Elections only come round every four or five years, so the next few months represent a rare window of opportunity that our movement needs to grab if we are to start tackling some of the massive obstacles to compassionate change.

So, this is a really crucial time for animal rights campaigners to engage the public with the PAD initiative through dedicated information stalls. To help with this, we have designed an eye-catching A2 colour poster. These are expensive to produce, but we want to invest in these to help advertise the campaign to the public at your information stalls. If you want to use one or two of these posters on stalls (or anywhere else) up until the Election then please reply as soon as possible so that we can order them to be despatched to you.

As you know, we also have free leaflet/postcards and stickers available. Twenty five thousand have already been distributed by campaigners across the UK. We have re-stocked, so please let us know if you need any more. To help gain maximum publicity for PAD stalls, we will also have a draft press release for you to send to your local media.

Party policies
In order to decide who the best MP for animals would be in each constituency, one of the major factors is the political parties' records and manifesto commitments on animal issues. See below for a summary of the position of the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Green parties.

We are anticipating that the fantastic new campaigning website at www.vote4animals.org.uk (Vote4Animals) will be complete and ready for use on 29 March 2005.

Please help us publicise the campaign and website as much as possible.
Yours for the animals

Max Newton
Campaigns Coordinator

A groundbreaking campaign to put animal
protection issues on to the agenda at the forthcoming
General Election, and into the future.
See www.vote4animals.org.uk (Vote4Animals) NOW for more information.

Party animal protection policies

The British political system, with centralised Government control over Parliament and rigid party discipline, means that even backbench MPs from the governing party have little meaningful influence over Government policy. The priority for animal advocates must be to affect the Government. This means that overall party policy and track record is a major factor in deciding who to vote for - normally this is more important than the attitudes of individual MPs and candidates.
Here is a summary of the policies of the main four parties in England. For a more in-depth review of the parties’ positions, check out the website at www.vote4animals.org.uk after 29 March 2005 or contact us.

Historically, the Conservative Party has tended to argue that individuals and businesses should be at liberty to treat animals as they deem fit, a belief reflected in their policies when they were in Government. The pro-hunting policy of the Conservatives is an obvious example of the low priority it gives to animal welfare.
In an academic study of MPs, Conservative members were found to be much less likely to be committed to animal welfare initiatives. Out of 165 MPs who signed our Early Day Motion calling for an independent inquiry into the Diaries of Despair scandal, only 11 were Conservative members. Very few Conservative candidates have replied to our policy questionnaire, and we’ve received some bizarre, very defensive and unhelpful reactions.
Current Conservative proposals on animal experiments are minimal and too vague to count as an effective commitment to tackle this particularly severe area of cruelty. Similarly, on farming, Conservative statements indicate that they would not seek to improve the horrendous experience endured by millions of animals, apart from a consumer labelling scheme.
What is really needed is Government leadership and tough decisions. However, the Conservatives display little appetite for substantial measures.

New Labour’s desperately disappointing failure to honour its pledges on animals was summarised in the last edition of ‘uncaged!’. Indeed, this experience of betrayal has been one of the factors behind the decision to launch the PAD campaign.
For example, Blair claimed that Labour was committed to the reduction and eventual elimination of animal experiments. But instead they have overseen a huge increase in vivisection, with 150,000 more animals being sacrificed every year compared to when Labour came to power in 1997. Meanwhile, Ministers have repeatedly lied to cover-up for illegal cruelty on the part of researchers.
Just recently, welfare campaigners have accused the Government of cowardice for avoiding crucial decisions in Europe relating to the suffering of animals during long-distance transport. The Government was also recently taken to court over its refusal to ban cruel starvation techniques in chicken farming that clearly breach the current welfare ‘regulations’.
Even the hunting ‘ban’ has taken over seven years to deliver on, and the Labour Government’s commitment to this measure is clearly very weak, despite the genuine concern of many of their backbenchers. Two minor improvements achieved include the ban on cosmetic testing on animals and fur farming. While welcome, both of these activities had virtually disappeared in any case. What is lacking is the courage to tackle major areas of cruelty.

Liberal Democrats
Compared to the Conservatives and New Labour, the Lib Dems seem to have the most positive animal policies.
Lib Dem proposals for institutional reforms could have far-reaching consequences. These involve the establishment of an Animal Protection Commission that will “bring all animal welfare related matters under the responsibility of a dedicated, expert body.” Providing a new department for animal protection in Government potentially breaks up the current bureaucracies (e.g. the discredited Home Office Inspectorate) and counterbalances other departments who tend to lobby for the industries that exploit animals.
The Lib Dem policy paper is clearly from an animal welfare perspective rather than animal rights. However, on paper at least, the policy approach seems to shift the burden of proof away from animal protectionists on to those who wish to exploit animals. Specific policies include a Royal Commission on animal experiments, and a pledge ‘to encourage a move away from intensive systems to more extensive methods of farming, particularly with broiler chicken and duck rearing’. The party as a whole supports the hunting ban.
Probably one of the most important Lib Dem policies is for the introduction of proportional representation for General Elections, so that everyone’s votes really count, and parties such as the Greens are given the voice that their support merits.

The Greens are the only party to have an explicitly ‘animal rights’ policy and a commitment to the abolition of vivisection on scientific and moral grounds.
The Greens also state that they:
“...would phase out all forms of intensive farming, prohibit the export of live animals and ban the import of commodities not produced to UK standards. We would also work to get World Trade Organisation rules changed, permitting bans on the basis of cruelty. Animals are not industrial products, but sentient creatures, having their own interests. The global reach of giant food and chemical companies threatens to cause animal exploitation on a scale never before seen and we recognise that it is essential to restrict free trade if we are to live alongside, rather than at the expense of, other species.”
The problem that the Greens face, however, is the first-past-the post system for General Elections. This means that in most cases, a vote for the Greens is unlikely to translate into political change. Furthermore, the Greens cannot afford to put up candidates in every seat at the forthcoming poll.
Often, the best way to make a practical difference is to vote tactically for the better of the two candidates/parties who have the chance of winning the seat.

May 30th, 2005, 09:57 PM
In the Netherlands we have an political party for the animals. I am a member of it and I recently start working for them. We hope someday we get a place in the parlament, so we can do more for the animals.