Keep cruelty history




Julian Ware-Lane joins Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to shine a spotlight on the appalling underworld of backstreet dog breeding

BDCHJulian Ware-Lane is backing a new campaign by leading animal welfare charity, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to urge prospective dog owners to think twice about how they buy a dog, in an attempt to crack down on the horrific practice of backstreet dog breeding.

Relentless breeding of dogs in dirty, squalid conditions takes place in neighbourhoods across the UK, so Battersea has launched a major campaign calling for a clamp down on the many undercover dog breeders that profit from the cruel treatment of these animals.

Julian Ware-Lane is joining the world famous charity in calling for a complete ban on the sale of puppies under eight weeks old and the introduction of a breeding licence requirement for any household producing two or more litters per year.

The campaign launch took place in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 2 February.

The Southend West Labour candidate said, “With backstreet breeding happening in neighbourhoods across the UK, it’s important we increase public awareness of this issue. Dogs used in backstreet breeding endure a miserable life, producing countless litters before being turfed out on to the street once they have served their purpose. This needs to end.”

Battersea’s rescue centres see the result of this cruel practice every day. Marjorie, a two-year old Bulldog, arrived at Battersea as a stray in November 2014. She was bald in places, unable to sit down, withdrawn and showing obvious signs of overbreeding. After a lot of care and dedication from the staff at Battersea, Marjorie began to come out of her shell, showing an affectionate nature and despite her awful start in life she will get a second chance to go to a caring, loving home she so deserves.

Unfortunately, not all of these dogs will be as lucky as Marjorie. Layla, a four year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was another stray that came to the charity last year, also showing signs of overbreeding.

Despite all of the support she received from Battersea, this poor dog had already been through so much that nothing more could be done for Layla and sadly she had to be put to sleep.

Claire Horton, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Chief Executive, said: “Battersea is speaking out to help expose and shame the callous breeders in our communities who are creating far too many unhealthy, unwanted, and abandoned dogs all in the name of personal profit. At Battersea we see the consequences of this problem every day. These puppies and breeding bitches are tomorrow’s status dogs and we must do all we can to put a stop to such inhumane, money-making activities.”

For more information about Battersea’s Backstreet Breeding campaign, visit

On animal welfare – six Labour pledges

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.

For an example see this –

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.

Labour’s plan to protect animals

animal protection plan TW


BADGERI have been a supporter of animal welfare organisations for many years. I was treasurer of Fox in Parliament at one point, and have championed many anti-cruelty causes.

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

On Boxing Day hunts

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.

Animals and their welfare

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.