Animal Protection Manifesto 2017

OUR PLEDGES IN DETAIL

1. End Factory Farming - taking animals out of cages and putting them back in the fields

Industrial livestock farming is bad for animals, damages the environment, reduces food security and has a negative impact on human health. We must end the intensification and industrialisation of animal farming and instead support sustainable farming with strict welfare standards.

In particular we will support:

 • Mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses.

 • A complete ban on cages and close confinement of farm animals, and on zero-grazing units for dairy cows.

 • Mandatory labelling of meat and dairy products to indicate method of production, country of origin and method of slaughter.

• Tougher regulations on animal transport, including a maximum limit of eight hours and an

end to live export from the UK.

• An end to use of antibiotics in intensive animal farming to suppress the diseases that are inevitable when animals are kept in crowded and stressful conditions.

 * Ensure the EU ban on the routine preventive use of antibiotics on farm animals when no disease is present is adopted into UK law, introducing mandatory targets for a reduction in antibiotic use in both humans and farm animals and publishing annual national surveillance data on the impacts on human health of antimicrobial resistance, prioritising mortality data.

 • A reduction in the consumption of meat, dairy and other animal products, with promotion of and education about alternative diets. Subsidies and tax measures that support a move to plant based crops, and organic agriculture.

 • A review of the Government Buying Standards to ensure that public procurement uses only meat, milk and eggs that have been produced humanely and sustainably.

 • A ban on the cloning of farm animals and the sale of clones and their offspring as well as a ban on the sale of products from those animals.

 • Action on fish farms to improve welfare and tackle the high levels of contagious disease, which affects wild fish as well as those in captivity.

 • Strengthen regulation of fish slaughter, and introduce new controls to protect lobsters, crabs and cephalopods from cruel killing methods.

 • An end to the shooting of seals at fish farms.

 • The accurate recording of greenhouse gases resulting from farming methods.

 • The use of international development funding and intergovernmental agreements such as UN Sustainable Development Goals to press for movement towards sustainable and humane food production worldwide.

 • Action to reduce the use of human-edible crops to feed farm animals, aiming for a 33% reduction by 2025 and a 50% reduction by 2035, since it is an inefficient and environmentally damaging way of feeding people.

• Action to reduce food waste. The meat of almost two billion animals is thrown away each year in the EU. This practice must be ended by taking action along the whole of the food chain.

 • A ban on the import and sale of foie gras.

2. Strengthen and extend the Hunting Act and continue our strong opposition to the badger cull

 The Green Party has been opposed to the badger cull from its inception and is against the exploitation and suffering of wild animals in the name of sport.

 • We oppose all forms of hunting and will strengthen the Hunting Act, including ending the use of dogs below ground and will introduce a closed season for hares.

 • The Green Party will immediately end the badger cull and introduce the cattle-control measures that are showing very promising results in Wales.

 • We will insert a ‘reckless’ provision to ensure the killing of wild mammals during a trail hunt cannot be passed off as an ‘unfortunate accident’ and will increase the punishments available to the courts so that the Hunting Act is brought into line with other animal-protection legislation.

 • We will end all commercial driven shooting, including grouse shooting, and will outlaw the use of cages to rear game birds.

3. Protect habitats and wildlife both at home and abroad

Wildlife cannot live without a home yet habitats are increasingly damaged and fragmented. We support a new Nature and Wellbeing Act and will require coordinated action across all levels of government to reverse the drastic decline in wildlife and habitat degradation. Priority will be given to creating a green network of wildlife habitats.

In addition we will:

 • Take action to arrest the alarming decline in UK pollinator populations.

 • Ratify a New Pesticides Act based on a precautionary principle of pesticide use.

 • Ban commission-based selling of pesticides and ban local authorities from using pesticides.

 Illegal wildlife trade is causing great suffering, wiping out species across the globe, and is linked to other serious organised crimes. Greens will establish a domestic strategic plan for tackling wildlife crime in the UK, which will include:

• Continuing the UK’s leading role in international forums to end the illegal wildlife trade, protect wildlife and promote conservation.  We will introduce a domestic trade and export ban for all ivory, including antique ivory.

• A ban on the import of wild-caught animals destined for the companion animal trade.

 • Tighter restrictions on the species that can be imported and traded.

 • An end to the keeping of wild animals, including all primates, as companion animals.

• Improving the range of deterrents that the police and courts can use against wildlife criminals.

 • Carrying out an impact assessment on the threats that wildlife crime, including cybercrime, poses to animal welfare and incorporating it into policies and practice to combat wildlife crime.

    * We will professionalise wildlife management services; ensure all wildlife control measures meet welfare standards, and ban the sale and use of glue traps.

• Increased support for actions aimed at gathering data on the illegal wildlife trade, including a commitment to long-term funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit. (NWCU)

 • Empowering police forces to develop and implement local wildlife-crime strategies and providing resources to enable the courts to develop expertise in wildlife crime and adopt sentencing guidelines for wildlife crime.

 • Ensuring all UK tour operators, travel affiliations and national tourist boards adopt the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism and actively ensure their holiday excursions and related activities have a minimal impact on the   welfare of animals, both wild and captive.

 • Ensuring that European legislation prohibiting trade in seal products and cat and dog fur is fully implemented into UK law, and strengthened to prohibit the import of all products made from real fur. As an interim measure, real fur     products will be labelled. 

 •Working for stronger international protection of endangered sea creatures, ending any killing of cetaceans and lobbying for a worldwide end to this practice.

 • Extending the Animal Welfare Act to cover fishing activities and include protection for cephalopods, lobsters, crabs and other crustaceans.

 • Undertaking research to quantify the scale of the problem of ghost fishing gear affecting marine animals in UK waters.

 • Enabling fishermen to return abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) to all major UK ports and investing in recycling schemes for ALDFG in the UK.

 • Joining and playing an active role in the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) – a powerful alliance of governments, industry, IGOs and NGOs that will save millions of marine animals and create safer, cleaner oceans.

4. Completely review companion animal-breeding and licensing legislation to stop the suffering of unwanted and inadequately cared-for companion animals

Companion animals bring much joy and comfort to many people but far too often the breeding and selling of these animals does not put their needs first, resulting in suffering.

Greens will push to:

 • Completely review and update existing dog legislation, particularly on dog control.

 • Update the rules on selling animals and tackle problems associated with the advertising of companion animals online.

 • Tighten the law regulating the breeding and sale of cats and dogs, with mandatory licensing of breeders of more than one litter and a ban on the sale of puppies younger than eight weeks and without the presence of their mother.

 • Place controls on breeding certain breeds to prevent exaggerated characteristics likely to cause suffering.

 • Introduce much stricter regulation on the ownership of air guns and crossbows to prevent injury or death to cats and other animals shot by such weapons.

 • Provide adequate funding and robust regulations to ensure the success of compulsory micro-chipping legislation.

 • Promote neutering of companion animals.

 • Tackle the increased incidence of illegal imports of dogs and puppies into the UK.

 • Introduce regulations to make it illegal to use aversive training aids such as electric-shock collars.

5. End the suffering of animals in experiments

Greens want to see an end to all animal experimentation and will ensure that research funding is directed away from failing animal models of human disease and towards modern human-biology-based techniques, which offer greater opportunities to cure disease and improve product safety.

We will work to end animal experiments but believe immediate action must be taken to:

 • Stop the use of primates, cats and dogs in research and the importation of monkeys for use in labs.

 • End the use of live animals in military training.

 • Stop toxicity testing on animals.

 • Stop the use of genetically altered animals.

 • Stop the use of outdated secrecy laws to withhold information on animal experiments and ensure that data is shared.

 • Stop government funding of animal experimentation and ensure it does not support companies that outsource their animal trials to countries outside the UK.

 • Provide greater funding for non-animal research methods and link the funding for the Research Councils to a target for funding the development of humane alternatives to animal experiments.

 • Put an immediate end to animal suffering in the most extreme experiments.

 • Increase transparency and ensure that all findings of animal research, including negative

    findings, are published.

 • Initiate a comparison of currently required animal tests with a set of human-biology-based methods to ascertain which is the most effective means of predicting the safety of medicines for patients.

6. End the suffering of animals used for entertainment

Greens believe that animals should not be used in any sport nor form of entertainmentthat causes pain and suffering (including psychological distress).

We will:

 • End the use of the whip in horse racing and conduct a full review of the sport.

 • End the use of animals in circuses and travelling menageries and exhibitions.

 • Take action to end all commercial greyhound racing andintroducing licensing, independent regulation, public reporting of injury statistics and passport tracking of dogs from birth to death.

 • Ensure UK taxpayers’ money is not used to fund bullfighting nor other festivals that involve animal cruelty.

 • End the keeping of captive whales and dolphins for commercial purposes.

 • Enforce greater protection of wild animals used in TV advertising, film and stage, encouraging strict regulation to restrict use unless all of the animal’s physical and behavioural needs can be met.

7. Giving animals a voice in policy-making

The Green Party believes passionately in electoral reform. Without a modern, fair voting system public opinion can be ignored, and public support for improved animal protection will never be reflected in legislation.

• Greens support the proposal to create an Animal Protection Commission to establish animal

welfare as a significant goal of government policy.

 * We will introduce a register of convicted animal abusers to help address associated crimes such as child abuse, and encourage programmes to prevent re-offending.

 • We will ensure animal welfare is included as a significant direct factor in Policy Impact Assessments, which will be mandatory for all government proposals that could affect animals.

 • We will encourage all schools to include animal welfare in their teaching so that all children learn about responsible companion animal care and respect for animals and we will press for animal welfare to be taught to national examination level