Blue Fox Animal Welfare Manifesto 2015

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Conservatives Against Fox Hunting General Election Manifesto 2015

 

 

The General Election is fast approaching and the public feel strongly about animal welfare matters; they have signed petitions, joined campaigns and sent numerous letters and emails to MPs, who receive more mail regarding animals than on any other topic.

While concern for animals is a mainstream priority, this isn’t reflected in the policies of most UK political parties. Improving animal welfare and how we view animals is an integral part of a civilised society. We firmly believe that animal welfare is an important issue to millions of people

A recent 2014 YouGov poll on the importance of animal welfare to voters should be a wake-up call for all the political parties, but especially the Conservatives. When asked to name issues that will determine how they cast their vote, 14% named animal welfare; it came directly behind defence – more than HS2 and same sex marriage.

The message for the all Political Party’s is revealed in the poll’s question on who is perceived to be most committed to animal welfare. For the Conservatives that is just 2% of voters. (The Liberal Democrats are rated at 2% whilst Labour has a figure of 4%) The mass of voters are in the 29% who said none of the parties are committed to animal welfare or the 42% who said they didn’t know.

Blue Fox has produced a manifesto setting out issues for action. The manifesto aims to generate debate and encourage the public and politicians to consider how they can improve animal welfare within the Party.

 

This document outlines our proposals to be considered for the new manifesto.( presented by the Blue Fox Founders for consideration by the No 10 Policy Board Committee in October 2014)

 

1. Commitment to introduce a close season for hares.

 

2. Exclude any offer to hold a free vote on and omit any pledge to undermine the hunting ban. The party needs to commit to maintaining the legislation on hunting wild mammals with dogs. The Act has been in force for almost ten years and is an important enforceable piece of legislation to protect wild animals. The act should not be amended to allow more dogs to be used to flush out foxes. 80% of the public think that fox hunting should not be made legal again.

 

3. Exclude any commitment to roll out badger culls across the country. Commitment to vaccinate badgers in TB high risk areas. Implement annual cattle testing and develop a cattle vaccine to protect cattle from Bovine TB.

 

4. Ban on snares. Snares are prohibited in most of the EU but we are one of only five EU countries to still allow the free use of snares. We call for snares to be illegal.

 

5. End bull fighting subsidies. A commitment that the party will work within Europe to end public subsidies for bull fighting.

 

6. Mandatory labelling on method of slaughter. Mandatory labelling of meat and better traceability of our food to prevent further food scandals such as the horse-meat scandal; Mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses.

 

7. End live animal transports from the UK and at least tougher regulations on animal transport, including a maximum of eight hours.

 

8. Government to increase funding directed towards developing and promoting human alternatives to animal experiments. Stop the use of primates, cats and dogs in research. Put rules on the harm-benefit assessment of animal experiments out to public consultation to prevent trivial research. Ban experiments causing severe pain. Require animal research establishments to publish strategies for reducing the numbers of animals used.

 

9. The party to update the dog breeding legislation to include better licensing conditions and standards for dogs being bred.

 

10. Prohibit the keeping and trade of primates as pets.

11. Action on lack of horse passports and attention on horse fly grazing by making it easier for local authorities to remove horses being fly grazed as Wales has in 2014. There must be guidance from the government on this issue to local authorities.

 

12. Bring in a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

 

13. An enquiry into commercial driven shoots. Commit to a review of the industry of shooting live birds as targets for sport shooting, looking specifically at the animal welfare, economic and ecological impacts.

 

14. Commitment to long-term funding of the national Wildlife Crime Unit.

 

15. Continue UK’s leading role in international forums to end the illegal ivory trade, protect wildlife and promote conservation. Action to end trophy hunting and the importation of wildlife trophies into the EU.

 

16. Challenge online illegal trade in wildlife by ensuring sellers provide proof that their goods are traded legally, and buyers are aware of the potential of breaking the law.

 

17. Oppose commercial whaling worldwide.

 

18. Establish a new Government Animal Protection Commission. Animal welfare is matter of major public concern, as episodes such as the recent fire at Manchester Dog’s Home demonstrates, but it has evolved in a piecemeal, ad hoc fashion creating an incoherent and inefficient policy environment. Reforming this policy field will help create more effective, joined-up approach to policy-making. The new APC would take over and integrate current responsibilities held by the Home Office and DEFRA. One key task of the APC would be, in close consultation with the public and stakeholders, to develop guidance on how to account for animal welfare impacts in policy appraisals.

 

 

 

 

 

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