Animal Aid urges election candidates to ‘seize the opportunity’ to help animals

Posted on the 5th November 2019

We have today unveiled our priorities for the snap general election. We are calling on candidates to sign up to a number of key pledges, which will help some of the UK’s most vulnerable and persecuted animals.

We are asking election candidates to sign up to the following pledges:

  • To support a ban on cages for all farmed animals, including game birds (1)
  • To support a ban on the use of the whip for ‘encouragement’ in horse racing. (2)
  • To support a ban on the use of animals in warfare experiments. (3)
  • To urge Natural England to reverse its decision to make the rescue and release of grey squirrels illegal from December. (4)

We will be setting up online actions to enable you to contact your candidates, and to ask them to sign up to our pledges. As manifestos come out, we will be comparing the main parties’ policies on animals, to help better inform voters who care about these critical issues.

Please keep an eye here on our website and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for more information. You may also like to sign up to our email list, to make sure you don’t miss any updates!

More information about the pledges

  1. Tens of thousands of breeding pheasants and partridges are kept in battery style cages. Repeated investigations by Animal Aid have shown that these are often devoid of even the minimal ‘enrichment’ that is required by regulations. The eggs of these birds are hatched, reared and eventually become the game birds who are shot for sport. Read our briefing sheet.
  2. The whip is allowed to be used in racing for ‘safety’ and ‘encouragement’. The term ‘encouragement’ means using the whip to force horses to run faster. The RSPCA agrees that the whip should only be used for safety purposes. Read our briefing sheet.
  3. In 2018, 1,941 animals were used in warfare experiments, at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Previous experiments have included guinea pigs being exposed to the toxic nerve agent VX and marmosets being exposed to Ebola. As well as being cruel, these experiments are also medically useless, since the results cannot be reliably translated to people. Read the briefing sheet.
  4. Natural England currently issues licences for the rescue and release of small numbers of grey squirrels. The licence is required because grey squirrels are classified as ‘non-native’. From 1 December, licences will no longer be issued for rescued grey squirrels to be released, meaning they will either have to be euthanised or held in captivity for the rest of their lives. For more information, read our briefing sheet.

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