Vote for Animals

19th April 2010

With the General Election campaign underway in the UK, it is absolutely vital that animal people make their voice heard and cast their votes effectively. I am astonished that more animal societies have not made their voice heard or been more active during this period.

It is not true to say that all politicians are the same, or that they always betray the animal cause, or that parliament can make no difference. Since 1997, significant progress has been made:

hunting with dogs has been abolished;
fur farming has been banned;
some factory farming practices (sow stalls, veal crates, battery hens) are being phased out;
use of great apes in experiments has been prohibited;
cosmetics testing on animals have been curtailed;
a new legally-enforceable duty to care for domestic animals has been established;
the UK Government has supported world-wide or EU attempts to ban whaling and
the import of seal products, and
it is now promising a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.

No, it is not enough, and the Labour Government has lamentably sided with the pharmaceutical industry in justifying and expanding the use of animals in testing, which is one of the reasons why animal testing is now at a 20 year high in the UK.

But it is too easy to despair of the parliamentary process, and those of us who are opposed to violence and illegality (as the Centre is) must be resolute in demonstrating that parliament can work for the animals.

But the wise use of your vote is essential. Only candidates who are unambiguously pro-animals deserve your vote. That is why I strongly endorse the Vote4Animals (Protecting Animals in Democracy Campaign), which is working hard to make parties aware of the animal vote.

And here you can send your parliamentary candidates a questionnaire on animals so you can gauge their responses. Please act now. May 6th matters for the animals.

Andrew Linzey