Animal Aid

*URGENT ACTION* Please support Greens call for an Animal Protection Officer for London

Posted 1 January 2002

The Green Group on the London Assembly is calling for an officer to be employed by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to address issues of animal cruelty in London.

The Green Party's manifesto commitment was to appoint an Animal Rights Officer for the capital. Following negotiations with the GLA a proposal is now being put for the appointment of an Animal Protection Officer to be included in the forthcoming GLA Budget.

An officer to work solely for the protection of animals across London is long overdue and much needed. The officer should work for the protection of all animals in London. Key areas of work must include:

  • Ensure the enforcement of all existing legislation which protects animals.
  • Promote examples of best practice across London, such as:
    - Humane/non-lethal methods when controlling animal populations;
    - Appointment of Borough-level animal officers;
    - Tight controls on pet shops.
  • Encourage practical initiatives to alleviate animal suffering, such as:
    - Subsidised neutering services to reduce the suffering of strays;
    - Promotion of the humane donor research card scheme.
  • Promote a better understanding of animals' needs and ways to prevent suffering.
  • Develop an overview of London-wide problems and strategic solutions.

The draft budget (which is formally proposed by the Mayor and should contain the Animal Officer) will be considered by the London Assembly on 23 January. The Assembly can approve the budget or reject it and propose its own alternative. Greens hold 3 of the 25 seats on the London Assembly, but the other 22 seats are held by Labour (9), the Tories (9) and the Lib Dems (4).

It is vital that London Assembly members support the inclusion of the Animal Officer in the budget. We believe some may not support it, and this could stop the officer being appointed. We need your help.

Each London resident can write to their Constituency Assembly Member, plus the Assembly Members elected on a London-wide basis. (Send all letters to Romney House, 43 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3PY.)

Constituency Members:

  1. Barnet and Camden - Brian Coleman, Conservative
  2. Bexley and Bromley - Bob Neill, Conservative (Group leader)
  3. Brent and Harrow - (Lord) Toby Harris, Labour (Group leader)
  4. City and East (Barking & Dagenham, City, Newham, Tower Hamlets) - John Biggs, Labour
  5. Croydon and Sutton - Andrew Pelling, Conservative
  6. Ealing and Hillingdon - Richard Barnes, Conservative
  7. Enfield and Haringey - Nicky Gavron, Labour
  8. Greenwich and Lewisham - Len Duval, Labour
  9. Havering and Redbridge - Roger Evans, Conservative
  10. Lambeth and Southwark - Valerie Shawcross, Labour
  11. Merton and Wandsworth - Elizabeth Howlett, Conservative
  12. North East (Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest) - Meg Hillier, Labour
  13. South West (Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston) - Tony Arbour, Conservative
  14. West Central (Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster) - Angie Bray, Conservative

List Members (please write to all Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative - there is no need to write to the Greens as they will be pushing for the Animal Protection Officer):

  1. Sally Hamwee - Lib Dem
  2. Graham Tope - Lib Dem (Group leader)
  3. Lynne Featherstone - Lib Dem
  4. Trevor Phillips - Labour
  5. Samantha Heath - Labour
  6. Louise Bloom - Lib Dem
  7. Jennette Arnold - Labour
  8. Eric Ollerenshaw - Conservative
  9. Darren Johnson - Green (Group leader)
  10. Victor Anderson - Green
  11. Jenny Jones - Green

Key points:

  • Animals across London are suffering needlessly - poor law enforcement (there is currently insufficient resources to enforce existing legislation), lack of awareness and uneven provision.
  • There is very widespread public concern over animal issues, as shown by stalls in high streets, letters to MPs and opinion polls.
  • The GLA has the opportunity to address this issue, and an Animal Protection Officer would be the best solution.
  • The benefits far outweigh the cost: the new post would only cost up to around 0.5 pence per year per person in council tax.

Please write to your Assembly Members. Insist that they vote for a budget which includes the Animal Protection Officer. Ask for a reply and their assurance that they will support the Animal Protection Officer appointment - you could add that they would not get your vote in the future if they fail to act for animals in this way.

Action

  • If you live in London, write to your Assembly Members (see above) requesting that they support the inclusion of an Animal Protection Officer in the GLA Budget. Send all letters to Romney House, 43 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3PY. Please copy any replies to Danny Bates, Green Party Animal Rights, Green Party Office, 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.
  • Wherever you live, contact friends, relatives and colleagues in London and ask them to write to their Assembly Members on this issue.
  • Find out more about the Green Party - visit their website at www.greenparty.org.uk.
  • Support Animal Aid in campaigning for animal rights - make an online donation now.

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