July 6, 2015 Leave a comment
March 8, 2015 1 Comment
One of the many political strands I have pursued over the years is animal rights. I am a member of the Labour Animal Welfare Society, and I have been pleased to support a number of other campaigning organisations, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
I am pleased that Ed Miliband (Leader of the Labour Party) and Maria Eagle (Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have made six pledges under the heading – Labour: Protecting Animals.
These pledges are
• Defend the Hunting ban
• Ban the use of wild animals in circuses
• End the Government’s ineffective and inhumane badger culls
• Improve the protection of dogs and cats
• Tackle wildlife crime and reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates
• Lead the fight against global animal cruelty
The last Labour Government achieved much to end the cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals: the banning of hunting with dogs, securing an end to cosmetic testing on animals, banning fur farming, and introducing the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
This is a legacy I am proud of, and I believe that only a Labour Government can be trusted on animal welfare issues.
January 25, 2015 Leave a comment
My views on the badger cull will not surprise anyone. Here is a website that I think is worth a visit, and a cause that is worth supporting: Badger Trust
December 26, 2014 1 Comment
The media reports that a quarter of a million people turned out today to support Boxing Day hunts. Providing these are drag hunts and no animals are killed as a result then I personally have no issue with people engaging in this activity. Riding is a very enjoyable activity, especially in the company of friends, and to get out in the fresh air in our countryside is something marvellous.
However, there is something sinister on the horizon, and this is a likely commitment by the Conservatives to repeal the ban on hunting.
I support a number of animal welfare organisations, including IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). They say, and I agree, that the Hunting Act is a workable piece of wildlife crime legislation; problems occur when it is not properly enforced. One of the main issues is hunts using trail hunting as a false alibi to avoid being prosecuted, and this needs to be addressed. The emphasis should be on enforcement of the Hunting Act – there should be no return to cruelty.
I am not for undermining country pursuits, and do understand the excitement and spectacle of a ride across countryside with dogs and horses. I just do not understand why this must include the barbarity that is the mindless slaughter of innocent wild animals for sport.
December 21, 2014 Leave a comment
I am involved in a number of campaigns, and animal rights is one of the fields I take a special interest in. My opinion is that civilised societies look after animals. I eat meat, use animal by-products, and see no problem with vermin control. I am ambivalent about animal experimentation. However, we should be as humane as possible, and certainly not use animal suffering as entertainment.
Here are a couple of websites that may interest readers. As in so many things there is a lot of grey in animal rights; nonetheless a commitment to avoiding as much cruelty and slaughter as is possible is not so much to ask. Besides, looking after the natural world also benefits mankind.
The Seal Protection Action Group campaigns to stop needless seal destruction. Of course, there will undoubtedly be circumstances when seals will have to be killed, but I can see no justification for the mass slaughter that is taking place in many parts of the world (including the United Kingdom). The celebrity supporters include a couple of Labour MPs.
Campaign Whale has a number of objectives, including the wish to “Preserve and strengthen the ban on commercial whaling, which is in danger of total collapse“. I can only describe much of the whaling activity as barbaric.
Animal testing is a tricky subject. We should not be testing cosmetics etc on animals, but as for medical experiments I confess to uncertainty. BUAV are certain where they stand, and I wish I could wholeheartedly endorse them. I cannot because I do think we should do whatever we can to cure all human diseases. However, from my discussions with BUAV they tell me that there are alternatives to testing using animals. The problem is that those who carry out the testing state that they need to have animal experimentation. The best I can offer in the debate is the desire to keep animal testing at a minimum.