Southend West Labour Candidate backs the Hunting Act

Hunt and houndsI smile as I recall that day, a decade ago, when a Labour Government finally ended the cruelty that was fox hunting. There can be no excuse for animal cruelty, and a measure of how civilised a society is in how it treats animals.

Today we can celebrate the 10 Year anniversary of Labour’s Hunting Act. However, the Conservative Party led by David Cameron wants to scrap the ban and bring back fox hunting.

Julian Ware-Lane said: “I hope that one day we can see the act tightened up, not it being removed from the statute book. We cannot allow this barbarity to return – it really would be a big step backwards.”

The Labour Party has a long and proud tradition of protecting and improving the rights of animals. It was ten years ago today (Tuesday 18th November) that the Labour Party finally ended the cruel and
inexcusable practice of hunting with dogs.

Unfortunately, David Cameron and the Conservatives are determined open up the debate again. The current Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, recently said that the Hunting Act was a ‘mistake’ and that she would ‘vote for a repeal’.

The Labour Party are clear that with Britain facing a cost of living crisis, this Conservative obsession to hold another vote in Parliament shows just out of touch they are with people’s day to day lives. The Hunting Act remains one of Labour’s proudest achievements and is widely supported across the country.

My views on shooting sports

I have been contacted to ascertain my views about shooting sports. This appears to be inspired by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation. I thought it would be useful to answer the questions on this blog.

I was asked to answer the following two questions:

1. Do you support shooting sports conducted according to the law and the current codes of practice?
Yes / No / Don’t Know

2. If elected would you join the All Party Group on Shooting and Conservation?
Yes / No / Don’t Know

I do not support the killing of animals for sport, and thus I cannot support the shooting of ‘game’ birds. Birds shot and eaten, humanely, do not trouble me. I do not understand why anyone thinks it acceptable to make a sport out of any animal’s suffering. I am no vegetarian, and do eat birds – usually chicken, turkey etc, but I have tried pheasant.

I would not stop shooting at targets or clay pigeons, although I confess to being nervous about guns.

I do uphold the law and I would, if elected, explore the possibility of changing the law as regards to shooting birds for fun.

I will not seek to join the All Party Group on Shooting and Conservation if elected, although I am prepared to find out more.

Southend West Candidate supports campaign to end wildlife crime

IFAWSouthend West Candidate Julian Ware-Lane has shown his commitment to protecting animals by pledging his support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) campaign to end wildlife poaching.

At the Labour Party Conference, Julian Ware-Lane was pictured with a speech bubble to highlight the issue and send a clear message that he wants the UK to continue to take the lead in the international community to stamp out wildlife crime.

The illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated £11.6 billion per year. It ranks fourth on the list of the most lucrative global illegal activities behind narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

Criminals are attracted to wildlife trafficking for the huge profits and low penalties. Disturbingly, the proceeds are used to fund well-armed rebel and militia groups who are willing to slaughter threatened species and kill people to obtain elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn and other wildlife parts.

Julian said: “An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory. I am campaigning against this because animals should not be killed to satisfy vanity. The ivory trade is wrong on so many levels”

IFAW’s work to combat wildlife crime includes providing training and equipment to anti-poaching ranger units, training customs officials to identify and seize wildlife contraband, collaborating with law enforcement authorities to arrest and prosecute black market traders and working to reduce demand for these products throughout the world, particularly in China.

IFAW’s UK Campaigns Manager, Tania McCrea-Steele, said: “The impact of poaching and the illegal trade on wildlife is very grave and we are witnessing entire populations of iconic species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos being brought to the brink of extinction. We thank Julian Ware-Lane for showing his commitment to stamping out wildlife crime.”

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#endwildlifecrime

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org.

Saving Rochford’s badgers

In amongst the emails I have received today is this:

The following response has been made to the ePetition titled “Save Rochford District’s Badgers from Culling” that you signed:

Thank you for contacting the Council in respect of this matter. Rochford District Council is committed to safeguarding animal welfare and has published a policy, our Animal Welfare Charter, that identifies the basic freedoms that we believe animals are entitled to enjoy and the steps we will take to facilitate this. It states that the Council supports the view that all animals have a right to life free from cruel treatment and unnecessary suffering. It recognises that animals are capable of feeling, capable of enjoying a state of well being and equally capable of suffering and therefore considers animals have the right to enjoy five basic freedoms: • Freedom from fear and distress. • Freedom from hunger and thirst. • Freedom from pain, disease and injury. • Freedom from unnecessary constraint. • Freedom from physical discomfort. This policy was last reviewed on10 March 2014. This Council has no intention of instigating a cull of badgers on our own land and you may be aware that the government has recent stated that it will not expand badger culling to other areas this year to reduce TB in cattle. Defra’s own independent assessment shows that culls in two pilot areas were not effective, and raised questions about their humaneness. A vaccination project is now under way by the Essex Badger Group, with initial surveys of badger setts on Essex Wildlife Trust reserves being carried out by members of the Essex Badger Groups. These surveys will inform our list of priority sites for vaccination, to start in the late summer; our initial target in the first year is to vaccinate 100 badgers before reviewing progress. This operation is expected to last five years, although an oral vaccine is currently being developed that can be scattered near setts. It is understood that as soon as this is available they will stop cage trapping and switch to this much less invasive method. It is considered that the point raised by this petition is addressed in the Council’s Animal Welfare Charter.

The petition can be viewed here.

In amongst the signatories are several names that readers of this blog will be familiar with, three of which are Southend-on-Sea Borough Councillors. It is appropriate that I give an honourable mention to Cllr Anne Chalk, who drew my attention to the petition.

Fitness and foxes

I sit on the board of Active Southend, being appointed after my election as councillor last year. This is chaired by Cllr Derek Jarvis and brings together various sports, fitness and health groups. I am on this body as a councillor, but do have a sporting interest as I have been involved in local football for almost twenty-nine years. Although now retired as a referee I still sit on the executive of the Southend Borough and District Football Combination.

At yesterday’s meeting I sat next to someone from Active Life and had a brief chat about that organisation before the meeting formally commenced. A number of topics were covered and when the discussion on obesity unfolded I confess to feeling somewhat sheepish. My lack of exercise and fondness for food has left me overweight, bordering on obese, and I have been making resolutions for many years to do something about it. Crisis is an overused word, but it is appropriate when considering the weight of the collective British. Many of us are fat, and we are getting fatter. Active Southend hopes to play a role in reversing this disturbing trend.

In the evening I caught the train to Westminster to attend a Fox in Parliament meeting. Here I met the ‘other’ Angela Smith. Prior to the 2010 General Electi0on there were two Angela Smiths in the House of Commons. The former MP (and now Baroness) for South Basildon and East Thurrock is well known to me; meeting the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge was a first. Discussion covered the impending badger cull, as well as the likely vote to repeal the hunting ban next year.

The badger cull is a tragedy, best explained by Team Badger. The repeal of the hunting ban is a step towards barbarism. This government is not animal friendly.

Pick it up!

I would hope that all dog owners would also love their neighbours and their community as well. Alas, some are somewhat neglectful – allowing their beloved pets to foul the pavements.

Good dogs owners clear up after their doggies have done their business. It is unsightly and unhealthy to not do so.

I am getting quite a number of complaints about dog’s mess. It is no exaggeration to describe this as a most vexatious issue for many Milton residents.

Dog ownership comes with a number of responsibilities. Looking after their health with good food and regular exercise comes with a by-product. Food in must inevitably result in excrement out. Owners must pick up after their pets, and dispose of responsibly. This does not mean throwing the bag of excrement into someone’s garden or onto railway embankments, etc. This means putting in dog bins or a dustbin.

When dog owners do not behave as society expects then all of us bear the cost. Council tax bills include an element of clear-up costs. Dog owners who want to see ever rising bills will doubtless feel vindicated in allowing doggie to do his do-do on our pavements; those who wish for lower bills may take this as an incentive to be more civic minded. Whatever, it is against the law, and I am encouraging our police to prosecute the irresponsible, the stupid, and the lazy.

Please be a good neighbour – pick up after your dog.

I am two ahead of Sir Paul McCartney

The European Union was due to be free of all new animal tested cosmetics by 2013. However officials are now considering exceptions for certain types of animal tests. This would mean that animal tested cosmetics could still be imported and sold in the EU. That’s despite massive public opposition to animal tested cosmetics and an existing ban on animal testing for cosmetics inside the EU. Join me in saying NO to cruel cosmetics in Europe.

Say NO to cruel cosmetics in Europe by signing the petition here.

I am signatory number 125,400. Sir Paul McCartney is signatory 125,402 – I guess he saw me signing there.

For those whose wish to buy cruelty free the Go Cruelty Free website is a useful resource.

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