Animal Welfare Party
|Animal Welfare Party|
|Nominating Officer||Jon Homan|
|Treasurer||Louise Cobham QV|
|Veterinary Advisor||Andre Menache BSc (Hons) BVSc MRCVS|
|Founded||December 2, 2006|
|Headquarters||PO BOX 70238, London, E2 2DF|
|International affiliation||Euro Animal 7|
|Politics of United Kingdom
The party aims to bring attention to animal welfare, environmental and health issues, in a manner similar to their Dutch equivalent, Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren), which Animal Welfare Party founder Jasmijn de Boo stood for in the 2004 European elections. Both de Boo and current leader Vanessa Hudson have likened the Animal Welfare Party to the anti-slavery and universal suffrage movements. The party says it has more than 100 members and over 14,000 supporters mainly in London and Wales.
In October 2010 the Party elected a new leader, Vanessa Hudson, whose aims are to increase awareness of the Party and grow its membership. In 2013 the party changed its name from Animals Count! to the Animal Welfare Party.
In June 2013 Hudson joined leaders from other animal protection parties from across Europe in a meeting in The Hague organised by Animal Politics Foundation of the Netherlands. At this meeting the animal protection parties of the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Turkey and the UK discussed ways in which they could work together more effectively. Later that month, Hudson announced that Animal Welfare Party would stand in the London region in the 2014 EU Parliament elections.
The party says it is one of seven European animal protection parties contesting the May 2014 EU Parliament elections with the aim of returning dedicated representatives for animals to the EU Parliament for the first time ever. This European group of parties has become known informally as the EuroAnimal7 and includes PvdD of The Netherlands, PACMA of Spain, PAN of Portugal, Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz of Germany, Djurens Parti of Sweden and Animal Party Cyprus.
The party initially intended to stand in the Welsh Assembly elections in 2007. In the London Assembly election, 2008, de Boo stood in Lambeth and Southwark, receiving 1,828 votes (1.12%). The party sponsored an electoral list of three candidates for the 2009 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom's Eastern region, receiving 13,201 votes (0.8%). In the United Kingdom general election, 2010, Richard Deboo stood as their candidate in the Islington South & Finsbury constituency. He received 149 votes (0.3%).
AWP's policies for Europe include:
- Re-directing EU subsidies (currently averaging 50 billion euros per year) away from livestock and fisheries farming and into plant-based agriculture
- Promoting healthy, plant-based lifestyle initiatives through public health and education campaigns
- Opposing the production and import of genetically manipulated crops anywhere in Europe
- Labelling all products clearly with information which allows consumers to make informed choices in line with their own principles on the environment, health, animal welfare and the social circumstances in which a product is produced
- Phasing out farming practices and systems with poor welfare consequences for animals
- Ending live animal export
- Reducing journey times for animals travelling to slaughter and further 'fattening'
- Phasing out animal experimentation with binding targets for reduction combined with funding and real support for alternatives
- Ending cultural traditions that involve cruelty to animals, such as bull fighting and foie gras production
- A ban on the production and sale of fur within Europe
- Ending EU subsidy of rearing bulls for bullfighting (currently estimated to be 129.6 million euros per year)
- Halting EU funding of Romania's 'Rabies Eradication Programme' until the stray animal 'Catch and Kill' policy is replaced by 'Spay and Neuter'
- Ensuring proper enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation across all EU member states
- "New animal rights party launched". BBC News. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- "Animals party eyes City Hall seat". BBC News. 11 April 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- Animals Count
- "London elections 2008: More candidates". Southwark News. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- "London Elections: Lambeth & Southwark". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- "Party promises voice for animals". BBC News. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- "European Election 2009: East of England". BBC News. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.