30 Animal Welfare Proposals submitted to Ministers, for consideration in the next Party Manifesto, 6 September 2019:
Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation Manifesto on Animal Welfare
The UK is a nation of animal lovers. And our Party has a proud record of standing up for animal welfare. The UK banned veal crates, foie gras farms and fur farms years ago. Our party introduced CCTV in all slaughterhouses, introduced the UK ivory sales ban, banned micro beads which harm marine life, introduced a ban on wild animals in circuses and third-party dog sales, introduced Finns Law to protect service animals, increased animal cruelty sentencing and more animal welfare and environmental measures. As we leave the EU, we will seize the opportunity to make our animal welfare standards the highest in the world. We will:
1. Protect farm animal welfare standards in post-Brexit trade deals. We will ensure that all animal products sold in the UK come only from animals raised to UK standards or higher.
2. End cages. Millions of sentient, intelligent farm animals are currently crammed in cages and farrowing crates, unable to fulfill their basic needs and exhibit their normal patterns of behavior. We will phase out these cruel production systems by the end of the next Parliament, with support for farmers as they transition.
3. Introduce mandatory method of production labelling on all meat. The public will be given full information about how the animals they are eating were raised and slaughtered, allowing informed consumer choice.
4. End Live Exports for slaughter and fattening. It is deeply cruel to subject small calves and sheep to long, distressing journeys before slaughter. We will end this.
5. Legislate to recognise animal sentience. We will introduce a new law to explicitly recognise that animals are sentient beings with the ability to feel pain and pleasure. Our legislation will go further than existing EU law, introducing a duty on all Ministers and parts of government to take account of animal welfare when making decisions. To include cephalopods and decapods based on the available scientific evidence.
6. Teach animal welfare in the national curriculum. Children have a natural affinity for animals. We will ensure that all children are taught about their moral significance, their complex inner lives, their physiological and behavioural needs, and steps we can all take to protect and improve their welfare.
7. Ban the imports of fur and foie gras in the UK. The UK has already outlawed the production of these cruel products and we should ban imports when we leave the EU.
8. Focus farm subsidies on environmental protection and animal welfare. Farmers who adopt higher animal welfare systems should be rewarded financially. Public money for public goods. We want to see an end to cruel practices including debeaking and the killing of male calves on dairy farms and male chicks at birth.
9. Oppose any resumption of commercial whaling and seek further measures to end shark finning.
10. Legislate for improved fish welfare both in production, handling and slaughter.
11. A free vote on non-stun slaughter and labelling to indicate non-stun and stunned meat.
12. Introduce a close season for hares- the only game species deprived of a close season when breeding their young. Hare numbers have declined from 4 million a hundred years ago to only around 750 thousand today. Scotland and Northern Ireland provide close seasons for hares.
13. Strengthen the Hunting Act 2004 by removing exemptions.
14. Commit to a review of the industry of shooting live birds as targets for sport shooting. Including intensive cages used to rear gamebirds.
15. Implement a central data base for tracking racing greyhounds from birth to retirement, to death. There is a lack of data, weak regulation, insufficient inspection regimes and poor welfare in the greyhound racing industry.
16. Commit to long term funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit. This is important to reduce wildlife crime.
17. Ban UK advertisements promoting unethical elephant related tourist rides and shows abroad.
18. Ban primates as pets.
19. Ban snares. Other countries in Europe have banned this very cruel device which indiscriminately traps and causes suffering to wild animals including hedgehogs, owls and domestic cats etc.
20. Include wild animals in new legislation to increase animal cruelty sentencing. Wild animals deserve the same protections from cruelty as companion animals.
21. Ban trophy hunting imports. There is no justification to import hunting trophies.
22. Introduce a national badger vaccination scheme instead of badger culling. We must end the culling of a protected species which scientists have urged makes no meaningful contribution to the control of Bovine TB in cattle.
23. Make pet theft a specific offence. Pets are distinct from inanimate objects and in sentencing, the courts must consider the fear, alarm and distress to the pet owners and not just monetary value. At least 5 dogs are stolen every day in England and Wales.
24. Establish an Animal Welfare Commission, an expert advisory body which includes providing advice to Ministers.
25. End puppy farms and puppy smuggling. Prevent the non-compliant export and import of equines and puppies by strengthening controls and paperwork at ports.
26. Introduce mandatory microchipping for cats and recording of cats involved in fatal traffic accidents. It is currently the law to report an accident involving a dog to the relevant authorities but not a cat. This needs to be addressed.
27. Introduce a UK ban on dog meat consumption. This would help set a powerful global example that eating dogs is unacceptable and cruel.
28. Ban electronic shock collars for dogs.
29. Increase funding for alternatives to the use of animals in experiments.
Brexit provides the opportunity to invest in scientific research that is more humane with the aim of phasing out harmful experiments on animals and to end ‘severe’ suffering as defined in UK law.
30. Establish the British International Biodiversity Agency (“BIBA”)Britain’s contribution to stopping our planet’s environmental and extinction crisis .BIBA would draw on the United Kingdom’s deep resources of scientific, technical and communications expertise and significant financial resources to work with local partners on a global basis to protect the environment and biodiversity.
Submitted by Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation on 6 September 2019