WAV Comment – it is political chaos here; Liz Truss the new (but probably not for long) Prime Minster has taken many actions to oppose both the Conservative manifesto – which should outline the Party aims; with regards animal welfare and environmental issues. We have reported on a lot of this over the past few weeks, and you can see our posts by scrolling back down through the site.
I say political chaos as the Conservatives are currently in government. Labour are n opposition. Due to the actions of Truss since she took the helm of the Conservatives just a few weeks ago; the Conservatives are being led (by Labour) by a massive 33%+ in opinion polls. Everything currently looks as if Labour will form the government at the next election.
Funeral rather than a celebration:
The 2022 Conservative conference is Liz Truss’s last chance to save her job as Prime Minister, and her party (msn.com)
We (WAV) are not associated with any UK political party; but we are a voice for improvements in animal welfare and the environment. These are just 2 issues where Truss has kicked us, long time and evidence providing campaigners, with a good boot in the teeth. So now she is starting to witness pay back time.
Here are a couple of articles which outline the current differences between the parties:
Liz Truss (Conservative) ‘to scrap proposed bans on fur and foie gras imports’
Liz Truss is set to scrap proposed bans on importing fur and foie gras to the UK, according to a Tory insider, sparking outrage from animal lovers.
The new prime minister will also reportedly ditch a ban on live animal exports in her first weeks in office.
The decisions will be a massive blow to campaigners who have spent decades lobbying for the reforms to spare animals from suffering.
Production of both fur and foie gras is considered so cruel that they are already banned in the UK.
All four measures were promised in the party’s animal-welfare action plan, announced last year to wide acclaim.
And curbs on live exports were promised in the Conservatives’ election manifesto, together with an end to hunting trophy imports.
But a senior Conservative told Politico: “Banning things seems very socialist. Informing people is the way to go.”
In February this year, right-wing cabinet members including Jacob Rees-Mogg intervened to block the Animals Abroad Bill, which contained the curbs on fur, foie gras, hunting trophies, and adverts for foreign theme parks that cause animal suffering.
The Kept Animals Bill, which banned live exports and keeping primates as pets and tackled puppy smuggling, could also be dropped. It had been due to be debated on Monday, which became the day of the Queen’s funeral, and no new date has been given.
A ban on cruel exports of live animals for slaughter and fattening had been hailed as a benefit of Brexit.
It would be a huge let-down, not only for those who work for these campaigns daily but also for millions of animals
The government says it is still looking at the fur and foie gras bans, but the source said the measures would not go ahead under Ms Truss, who appointed Mr Rees-Mogg as business secretary and promoted Mark Spencer, understood to have been another of those blocking the Animals Abroad Bill.
However, MP Scott Mann, who has spoken out in favour of a ban on live exports, has been promoted to environment minister.
Last week, Ms Truss sacked Zac Goldsmith as animal-welfare minister after he introduced reforms including an ivory sales ban and higher jail terms for cruelty. He also wanted to crack down on religious slaughter without stunning.
“A lot of his causes were very worthy, but you can be worthy when you’re the son of a billionaire,” the MP said in a bizarre comment. Lord Goldsmith’s father was financier James Goldsmith.
Lorraine Platt, co-founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, told The Independent she was bitterly disappointed by news the bans would be dropped.
“It would be a huge let-down, not only for those who work for these campaigns daily but also for the millions of animals involved,” she said.
“Banning live exports and hunting trophies were manifesto commitments, and some people vote on manifesto commitments at elections.”
She said the foundation had often heard reports the measures could be scrapped or watered down.
Sir Roger Gale, patron of the foundation, condemned the “let them choose” argument as “a little spurious” and perverse when the UK has bans on producing fur and foie gras.
He told Times Radio he was concerned about the direction of travel of animal welfare under the new government, and millions of votes including in red-wall seats would be lost to the Tories if they reneged on animal welfare.
Foie gras production involves force-feeding ducks and geese with pipes pushed into their throats to fatten their livers.
Fur farms have been exposed as leaving animals suffering infected, bloody wounds, spreading disease and literally driving animals mad from confinement.
Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said it was surprising and perplexing that senior Conservatives wanted to row back on the popular measures in last year’s animal welfare action plan.
“Animals matter to voters, and people will not be content with oft-recycled rhetoric about being a ‘world leader in animal welfare’ if it’s not accompanied by meaningful action,” she said.
“Banning fur imports is not un-Conservative, it’s simply the right thing to do in line with the British public’s moral compass.”
Under Boris Johnson, the government said it wanted to consider compulsory animal-welfare labelling on food and promised to consult on proposals next year.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ran a 12-week consultation last year on new labelling standards for produce now that EU regulations no longer apply.
It also ran a consultation on banning fur imports, but has not released the results.
Ministers had at one stage said they would press ahead with the hunting trophy imports ban, but that pledge appears also to have been dropped.
Instead, they are backing a private members’ bill by backbencher Henry Smith that bans hunting trophy imports – body parts of wild animals killed by paying hunters. Mr Smith has called such hunting barbaric.
On foie gras, Defra said it was considering any further steps that could be taken, “building on the opportunities presented” by Brexit, and was still gathering information.
“The government has made clear that the production of force-fed foie gras raises serious welfare concerns,” a spokesman added.
On fur, the department said: “We are continuing to build our evidence base on the fur sector, which will be used to inform any future action on the fur trade.”
It also said the Kept Animals Bill would continue its passage through Parliament.
The Independent has also asked the office of the new Defra secretary, Ranil Jayawardena, to confirm whether the proposals will go ahead.
Liz Truss ‘to scrap proposed bans on fur and foie gras imports’ (msn.com)
… and then on the other hand we have this from Labour; currently 33%+ leading in the opinion polls.
Labour will ban foie gras and hunting trophies imports if it takes power, environment boss Jim McMahon pledges
Labour would ban imports of foie gras and hunting trophies “very early” after winning power, Shadow Environment Secretary Jim McMahon has said.
Animal welfare campaigners were outraged earlier this month when Liz Truss junked a Conservative commitment to outlaw the controversial pâté.
Nature and farming groups are also dismayed that the new administration has paused post-Brexit subsidies that incentivised agriculture without saying what will replace them.
Speaking to i at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, Mr McMahon could hardly contain his glee at the furious backlash to a threatened rolling-back of environmental protections. He says the Tories are taking their rural heartlands for granted – and will suffer the electoral consequences.
But he acknowledged that he will come under immediate pressure to make good on a host of long-standing promises cherished by Labour supporters to improve animal welfare, of which import bans on foie gras and hunting trophies are the most high-profile.
i revealed last year that Jacob Rees-Mogg, now the Business Secretary, was leading efforts to shelve the proposed ban on foie gras and last week it emerged that it had been scrapped entirely.
To produce foie gras – which translates as “fatty liver” – male ducks and geese are force fed grain and fat three or four times a day in a process known as “gavage.” The forced feeding causes the birds’ livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size.
Asked when a Labour government would bring in the bans, Mr McMahon said: “There will be a lot to do in that first Queen’s Speech but there will be an expectation on Labour to set our stall on animal welfare very early that I am working hard to achieve.”
He added that he was exploring whether the bans could be implemented without passing new laws to free up Commons time for other high-priority legislation, saying: “It’s about the art of the possible.”
Mr McMahon said the bans are the “easier stuff” and added: “The question for us and the current Government is how do you marry higher animal welfare standards with new international trade deals.”
Ms Truss, when she was International Trade Secretary, won a Cabinet battle to force through a new trade deal with Australia despite worries it exposed British farmers to competition from producers with lower standards. Mr McMahon said the party was considering banning any future such deals and would double down on efforts to make the UK a world leader in ethical and green food.
He said he was astonished that the new Environment Secretary, Ranil Jayawardena, paused plans for post-Brexit farm subsidies, the Environment Land Management Scheme, without saying what comes next – leaving the National Farmers Union and green groups united in fury.
“I know Ranil reasonably well,” Mr McMahon said. “I’m staggered that he’s been missing in action. He should have been on the phone to the big groups like the NFU and Wildlife Trust. It’s just a matter of respect. Even if the intention isn’t to throw it all out but to pause, reflect and rebuild there’s going to be a breakdown in trust.”
The former Oldham council leader admitted his current job was not necessarily an obvious fit: “The only greenery I saw as a kid were the weeds growing through the cracks in the pavement.”
Unsurprisingly for a politician he showered praise on farmers and fishermen as “grafters” who are the best of British – but also said he wants to make townies care more about the county by bringing it into urban areas.
“Of course I am going to fight for the shires and coastal communities who have some of the most beautiful parts of the country on their doorstep,” Mr McMahon said. “But you can’t just pitch up in somewhere like Oldham and say, ‘It’s your responsibility to tackle the climate change emergency,’ when what’s their own environment like? It’s grey and it’s depressing and there’s no access to safe green spaces. There’s a huge opportunity there for Labour to fill in the gap.”
Labour will ban foie gras and hunting trophies imports if it takes power, environment boss Jim McMahon pledges (msn.com)
Everyone makes promises if it means them getting elected. We read of what will be done in party manifesto’s; only then to be treated as we are now by the Conservatives – how things change !
Whatever happens and regardless of all the promises and manifesto statements, we will continue to hold ALL those in politics to account for both the animals and the environment. Recent events have shown us that in reality, you never believe a bloody word; as they all come up with excuses (after they have been elected) for not doing this and not doing that.
British politics is currently having one of its biggest changes for decades – and for the animals who have been betrayed by the Tories, we say ‘bring it on’. We want and demand progressive change after all these years of campaigning and evidence providing; often at great risk to some individuals.
We fought hard to get the foie gras and fur ban issues to the top of the pile; the government is attempting to wipe the issues off the board overnight. That is why we have a wry smirk on our faces as we now see truss and the Conservatives who betrayed us attempting, but failing, to clamber out of the deep filth pit that she and they have put themselves into.
An interesting time; but we will fight for the animals whatever;