The Labour Party has published a rather brief pamphlet on ‘Protecting animals‘ whose focus is very much animal welfare and not nature conservation. It sometimes seems as though Labour sees the environment as climate change, and animals as welfare – which may leave nature conservation falling through a rather big hole in the middle!
I’m very motivated by climate change so I am glad the the Labour Party takes that seriously, and moderately motivated by animal welfare issue (so I am glad they take those seriously too), but I am very very motivated by nature conservation issues and so I am always looking to Labour for more on that subject – there were crumbs of comfort in this document, but certainly no feast.
There are six areas briefly discussed:
- Keep the hunting ban
- Ban wild animals in circuses
- End badger killing and replace with stricter cattle movement regulations and vaccination of badgers and cattle
- Improve protection of dogs and cats
- Reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates (where the Hen Harrier gets a mention – but just that, a mention)
- Lead global fight against animal cruelty including whaling, use of great apes in experiments and seal products.
On number 5, the Labour Party promises an independent review on how to end the illegal persecution of birds of prey (here’s one idea), preventing non-target animals being caught in snares and ensuring the humane treatment of game birds. All these are good things, but they amount to setting up a committee. Still, as an opening salvo in the general election campaign as it pertains to nature conservation this is a fairly well-aimed sighting shot.
But I would rate it as ‘adequate’ rather than in any way exciting or attention-grabbing. Still, I guess ‘adequate’ is adequate.
What do you think?