Animal welfare advocates are celebrating a new detailed plan unveiled Wednesday by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in the UK that aims to improve the lives of domesticated pets, laboratory and farm animals, and those in the wild.
"We wholeheartedly welcome the proposals in the animal welfare strategy announced today by Labour. These are developments for which we have campaigned tirelessly for years," said Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International. "It shows great progress that one of the major political parties is now committed to a positive plan for ending the suffering of animals in laboratories."
"We particularly welcome commitments to stop live exports, empower consumers with mandatory meat labeling, stop routine preventative use of antibiotics, and use post-Brexit subsidies to move away from intensive factory farming and bad environmental practices," said Emma Slawinski, director of campaigns at Compassion in World Farming. "This could be the beginning of the end of cruel factory farming."
Extremely welcome vision & ambition for #animalwelfare in @UKLabour 50-point action plan launched today, including appointment of Animal Welfare Commissioner and ban on all fur imports #FurFreeBritain https://t.co/0FnpIQHLaD @labourpress @Labour4Animals @LabourAnimalRG
— HSI United Kingdom (@HSIUKorg) February 14, 2018
"No animal should be treated cruelly or made to suffer unnecessary pain," tweeted Corbyn, adding that the goal of the plan is to "make the UK a world leader on animal welfare."
"The 50-point plan would be a comprehensive new approach to animal welfare if Labour came to power," The Guardian notes. "The proposals are in part a response to the Brexit negotiations, which Labour fears could lead to lower standards in food production, and to recent revelations on the conditions inside UK slaughterhouses and the expansion of the badger cull."
The Party shared a video that introduces the plan to the public and solicits feedback from constituents.
Labour has always led the way when it comes to animal welfare – now we’re building a plan to make our country a world leader in animal rights.
The residents of this animal hospital are on board – are you?
Take a look at this from @SueHayman1 ↓https://t.co/Dwhjuzsb0R pic.twitter.com/jncnzJGa5N
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) February 14, 2018
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In addition to calling for the appointment of an Animal Welfare Commissioner, who would monitor pending legislation and foreign negotiations that would impact animals as well as stay updated on scientific research on animal welfare, the platform calls for:
- strengthening animal welfare laws to include decapod crustaceans and cephalopods, increase punishments for those convicted of animal cruelty, and revise Government Buying Standards;
- improving the lives of domestic pets by expanding access to veterinary care, cracking down on puppy smuggling, banning shock collars, and establishing a full-time, independent zoo inspectorate;
- crafting new legislation to address troubling agricultural practices such as factory farming and overuse of antibiotics on livestock;
- implementing new protections for wild animals by enhancing the Hunting Act, banning circus animals and fur imports, and increasing penalties for criminal behavior such as illegal hunting;
- enhancing rules on animals in sports, particularly with regard to greyhound dogs used for racing; and
- revising standards on animal testing as well as exploring research methods that do not involve animals.
Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman, who appeared in the party's video, headed to a hospital run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) for the plan's launch on Wednesday.
— Georgie Prodromou (@GeorgieProRadio) February 14, 2018
Others members of the party and advocates for animal welfare expressed their support for the plan on social media.
Labour’s animal welfare policy document is a thing of beauty. We’re lucky that our landlord let us have this little hell raiser, but so many people of my age and older have never been allowed pets. https://t.co/8RErvwz5EQ pic.twitter.com/GWEiUOC2eE
— Cllr Joe Rayment (@joerayment91) February 14, 2018
We're pleased to see animal welfare is slowly becoming more prominent in UK political debate. This was brought into the spotlight today with the release of the Labour Party’s 50-point plan on animal welfare: https://t.co/eP1GjptOMt pic.twitter.com/kPERZ0Ja5m
— AnimalFreeResearchUK (@AFR_UK) February 14, 2018
We welcome the launch of the Labour Party animal welfare plan which, if implemented, will bring in much needed protection for British wildlife and commits to strengthening the Hunting Act 2004 #strengthenthehuntingact https://t.co/VtLCoF2ISG
— The League (@LeagueACS) February 14, 2018