Category: Farm Animals

UK: Political Chaos – and Animal Welfare and Environmental Issues Are Just 2 Reasons Why The Current Government Is Down In the Cess Pit.

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.

Foie Gras production Banned in the UK, but still imported !!

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

Lorraine Platt

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.

Source:

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.”

Source:

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;

Regards Mark

Denmark: Super News ! – Denmark Bids Farewell to Cage Egg Production.

Photo – We Animals Media.

Denmark bids farewell to cage egg production

29 September 2022

Dyrenes Beskyttelse – Danish animal welfare.

The Danish Minister for Food, Rasmus Prehn, has decided to ban the production of cage eggs in Denmark, beginning in 2023.

The final goodbye to Danish cage eggs is applauded by Animal Protection Denmark. It is a victory for activist consumers, the retail sector, and Animal Protection Denmark – and millions of caged hens.

We are thrilled to finally see an end date for the production of cage eggs in Denmark – and an end to the horrific living conditions of the hens laying the eggs. It raises the bar for basic animal welfare in the Danish poultry sector.

Britta Riis, CEO of Animal Protection Denmark

The ban will be introduced with a transition period of 12 years for the remaining 7 farmers still producing cage eggs. Animal Protection Denmark would have liked the transition to have been faster but acknowledges that major changes in food production can take time.

It has been almost 10 years since we ramped up our campaigning against cage eggs. Many consumers joined us in turning their backs on cage eggs, and retailers took them off their shelves. In the end, these movements led to the final goodbye to cage egg production, and we owe the Danish people and the Danish retail sector a debt of gratitude for leading this change.

CEO of Animal Protection Denmark

The ban on cage eggs comes after the political party Enhedslisten put forward a motion in 2020 to phase out the last remaining producers of egg-laying cage hens by the end of 2022. The Government did not support the motion on the grounds that the suggested phase-out period was too short, but the Minister for Food acknowledged the horrendous living conditions of caged egg-laying hens and supported the general move towards a ban. And the politicians are aligned with public sentiment: Three out of four Danes think that cage eggs should be banned according to a new survey conducted by Epinion on behalf of Animal Protection Denmark.

Even though Danish consumers and retailers have turned their backs on cage eggs, 7 Danish farmers still have around 550.000 hens sitting in cages around the country. A lot of Danes are unknowingly served caged eggs in food served in cantinas, kindergartens, and ready meals, and some of Denmark’s biggest municipalities continue to buy vast quantities of cage eggs. This use of eggs is not labelled, making it impossible for consumers to opt out. Animal Protection Denmark urges everyone to support the Danish people’s clear opposition to cage eggs.

During the 12-year phase-out an estimated 6 million hens may have to endure life in a cage. This should not happen. The Danish people should not be fed this many hidden cage eggs, and to this end, private and public buyers must step up and take responsibility.

CEO of Animal Protection Denmark

Several of Denmark’s neighbouring countries, such as Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands have already imposed bans on keeping caged hens. While the animal welfare bar in Denmark is raised by the ban, there is still a long way to go until all farmed animals get to live good lives in accordance with their needs, Animal Protection Denmark points out.

Regards Mark

From Vampire To Vegan – Actor Paul Wesley Talks Animals and Veganism.

Paul Wesley, the vegan actor known for starring in The Vampire Diaries, discussed animal rights on the Plant Based News (PBN) podcast.

He spoke to PBN co-founder Robbie Lockie about a range of issues, including factory farming, the challenges of being a vegan actor, and the truth about dog food.

The two also discussed cultivated meat, with Wesley describing it as “the future.” He said that vegans “have a responsibility” to support the industry.

You can listen to the audio version of the podcast, or watch the full interview below:

Regards Mark

Letter: Remembering farm animals.

Letter: Remembering farm animals

I just learned about World Day for Farmed Animals, coming up on October 2nd (Gandhi’s birth date). It has been around since 1983 and is meant to memorialize the billions of animals abused and killed for food each year.

Mahatma Gandhi, (1869–1948)
“To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.
I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.
I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man“.

Like many, I always considered farm animals only as a source of food. But, after recently watching the documentary Speciesism, I realized that farm animals are much like our family pets, deserving of love and respect.

I’ve learned that farm animals get neither on today’s factory farms. Male baby chicks are ground up alive or suffocated in garbage bags. Hens are crowded in small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding pigs spend their lives pregnant in metal cages. Calves are snatched from their mothers upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

The cruelty of factory farming drove me to replace animal products in my diet with plant-based meat and dairy items. I have since learned that my cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Letter: Remembering farm animals | News, Sports, Jobs – Daily Herald (heraldextra.com)

Regards Mark



WAV Archive

WAV Archive

Finger to you too. Photo – Val Cameron.

Switzerland: Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland.

Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland

Washington Examiner

Voters in Switzerland are set to decide whether to ban factory farming and modify laws to grant animals the constitutional right “not to be intensively farmed.”

Under a new proposal that will be considered by Swiss voters over the weekend, the country would be required to implement laws that lower animal stocking rates and limit the importation of intensively farmed meat. The proposal has received mixed support, with national polling showing that 52% of voters oppose the ban, while 47% support it.

Proponents argue a ban would protect the environment by reducing farms’ reliance on soya-based animal feed that has been linked to widespread deforestation. Animal rights groups have also championed the proposal, pushing for more humane conditions in the facilities where animals are held.

“You can keep 27,000 chickens in one barn, and their room to move is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper,” said Silvano Lieger, managing director of Sentience Politics, an animal rights group that proposed the ban in 2018. “Pigs are kept in barns, too, up to 1,500 per farm, with 10 pigs sharing the space of an average parking spot. It is not possible to treat animals in a dignified way in those conditions.”

However, opponents have argued the ban would negatively affect the domestic production of meat and would fail to prevent the cheap importation of intensively farmed animals. Others have argued Swiss law already enforces strict welfare laws.

About 80% of Swiss meat is produced domestically, according to ProViande, the Swiss interbranch organization for the meat industry. However, some industry workers say the rate of importation would increase drastically if the ban is implemented.

Regards Mark

Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland (msn.com)

England: Progress ? – Dont Just Be Sorry – Do Something !

22/9/22

In relation to my recent letter asking who in UK government is right and who is wrong – you can read the letter here; England: Who In Government Is Right, and Who Is Wrong ? – We Write For Clarification (Maybe). Or Are They Confused Just Like Us ? – World Animals Voice

I need to draw your attention to what statements (in my view) contradict each other:

Quote from the DIT

 “the government has made it clear in its manifesto that in all our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”.

Or

Liz Truss has refused to enshrine animal welfare in trade deals;

Liz Truss has refused to enshrine animal welfare in trade deals, says minister | Animal welfare | The Guardian

Wanting to know what is right or wrong relating to government policy; I have now been sent a reply from my own MP stating that on my behalf, he has now written to the Department for International Trade (DIT) asking for ‘policy statements’ to be given and if ‘anything has changed’ – ie a very recent conversion to the Liz Truss view.  Or, do the commitments expressed in their original (DIT) letter ‘remain intact’. ?  – yes, that’s what I want to know !

So; a little progress of sorts but I am still not being given the final government approach now of dealing with international free trade agreements (FTA).  I now wait to be forwarded the response from the DIT to see, as I originally asked, who is right, and who is wrong.

I will publish their (DIT) response when it is provided to me.  In the meantime, I sit twiddling my thumbs and other bits waiting to get ‘a government policy statement’.  Depending on how this is worded (change or no change) will then set the agenda for future actions by WAV on the issue.

Once I have had a response about this, I have further questions lined up regarding several things – the live transport of live animals from the UK being one.  Here again, Truss appears to be changing the goalposts and giving the AR movement a good kick in the teeth for the years of campaigning it has taken to get this stopped.  Read here the great article from Jane who really sums up the situation and attitudes:

UK: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable. – World Animals Voice

The government had a consultation on banning live animal exports and it was clear from the results that the majority of people wanted the trade banned:

Check it all out here – Search Results for “live export consultation” – World Animals Voice

We are used to long drawn out campaigns, and we are used to false promises and being shit on by governments on a host of issues relating to animal welfare and the environment.  Our movement has tenacity on its side; the government changes and relies on the votes of citizens to remain in power, or not !

I am a big badger fan, so badger culling will be another issue being prepared for future letters.

Personally, I have battled the disgusting live export trade for 35+ years; done undercover trails especially relating to British horses going into Europe for meat, and I sure as hell am not going to stop now.  There are too many animals in this sordid trade that require us to be a voice for them.  So we will, however long it takes.

Regards Mark

In the past, Mark worked with television comedy scriptwriter Carla Lane for many years; and had the position of being the investigator for her animal charity (Animaline) throughout the years of the horse export investigations.  Through undercover investigation work, port monitoring, visits to UK horse markets, and trails into Europe, it was shown that British horses were being exported from the UK whilst being declared as ‘going for riding’ to Europe.  In reality, the animals were being exported to Europe for their meat.  What was declared on the export licenses was a complete and utter lie to get around the complexities of exporting sentient animals for one thing when they were actually going to their deaths !

After all the investigative work was completed and documented, which involved a lot of work, Carla and Mark teamed up in London one day and made formal presentations to the UK Government Ministry – DEFRA (previously  MAFF) about all the investigation work”.

Wonderful Carla

35+ years of live export tenacity – I do know a little about live exports and hopefully can argue in defence of those who cannot speak.

Fight the fight ! – be yourself no matter what they say.

Regards Mark

A few of my other bits of work:

Australia: Prime minister’s senior farm adviser an ex-campaigner for GetUp who called for end to ‘cruel’ live animal exports.

Prime minister’s senior farm adviser an ex-campaigner for GetUp who called for end to ‘cruel’ live animal exports

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s chief adviser on agriculture policy previously condemned mainstream animal farming as “inherently cruel” and campaigned to end live exports.

Skye Laris, a senior policy adviser to the prime minister, is a former GetUp campaigner who worked with Animals Australia and the RSPCA calling for a ban to live exports.

According to Ms Laris’s LinkedIn, she has been a senior environment, agriculture, industry, and employment policy adviser in parliament since June 2019, working in the prime minister’s office as a senior adviser since May.

“Animal cruelty is a day-to-day part of farming practices,” she wrote for website Mamma Mia in 2016.

“The uncomfortable truth is that whether it’s live exports or long-haul domestic transportation on trucks without food and water, or the killing of calves in the dairy industry, or factory farming pigs, or chooks living in space the size of an A4 piece of paper … it’s improved over the years, but mainstream animal farming is inherently cruel.

“From paddock to plate, there is almost always a part of an animal’s journey that wouldn’t stack up if we as consumers were prepared to know what had really happened.”

Ms Laris previously worked in the office of then-agriculture minister Tony Burke, whom she later married.

Ms Laris used the Mamma Mia piece to criticise conventional farming practices across the livestock, egg, dairy and pork industries, after vision released by Animals Australia showed what appeared to be Australian cattle being mistreated at a Vietnamese meatworks.

“I don’t think addressing animal welfare it’s as simple as banning live exports [sic],” Ms Laris wrote.

“If we’re upset by live exports we really ought to be looking at what happens here at home too.”

The prime minister’s office would not comment on Ms Laris’s appointment, or whether she still holds these opinions.

In May, Labor made a pre-election commitment to ban live sheep exports.

It was criticised by farm groups when, during the election campaign, its plan to end the $92 million a year live sheep trade was first announced publicly by an animal rights group.

The government has said it won’t ban live cattle exports, and the live sheep ban won’t be introduced in this term of parliament.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said any decision relating to live animal exports was the responsibility of ministers, not advisers.

“I’ve only just heard about these reports myself,” Senator Watt told the ABC when asked about Ms Laris’s opinion piece.

“But the important thing here is that the people who make these decisions ultimately around live exports or anything else are the elected ministers like myself. I generally don’t get into issues about what different staff do, staff generally are pretty off limits in politics, and it’s more about ministers.

“I’ve certainly never expressed any views like that one way or another on the issue and I’ll be certainly taking what I think will be a responsible approach on matters involving live exports.

“I’ve had some very productive conversations with all players, whether it be members of the industry [or] activist groups, the approach that we’re taking to all issues as a government is that everyone gets a say, but then we make the decisions as the elected government.”

In 2020, a senior Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade bureaucrat, Julie Delforce, who is also the mother of a well-known animal rights activist, resigned following an investigation into her links to the animal activist website Aussie Farms.

Ms Laris did not respond to the ABC’s written request for comment.

Prime minister’s senior farm adviser an ex-campaigner for GetUp who called for end to ‘cruel’ live animal exports – ABC News

Regards Mark

UK: Up For the Fight ? – Animal Welfare and Environmental Org’s Are. Election On the Horizon, And We Vote.

Dark Times at Conservative Government.

New polling shows voters “more likely” to vote for candidates who support strengthening the Hunting Act

Posted 20th September

New polling commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports has shown that, nationally, almost eight out of 10 British people agree the Hunting Act should be strengthened.

News | Animal Charity (league.org.uk)

New polling shows voters “more likely” to vote for candidates who support strengthening the Hunting Act (league.org.uk)

Photo – Mark (WAV) / East Kent Hunt Sabs.
Does anything need to be said ?

Five ways Liz Truss has already ripped up the rulebook as Tory PM | Liz Truss | The Guardian

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation welcomes new Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Liz Truss MP – Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation

New PM Liz Truss urged to push ahead with Kept Animals Bill (animaljournal.co.uk)

Please email Liz Truss today and urge her to make three key pledges for animal welfare in her first 12 months as Prime Minister.

Please call on the new Prime Minister to:

  Ban live exports for slaughter or fattening

  Examine the use of farmed animal cages

  Consult on animal welfare labelling of meat and dairy products

If Liz Truss can deliver on these pledges, it will help to give millions of farmed animals a life worth living.

Please take action now. Send a message to the UK’s new Prime Minister calling on her to put animal welfare at the top of her agenda.

Email the new PM today (ciwf.org.uk)

Eustice: Truss won’t enshrine animal welfare in post-Brexit trade deals | The Scottish Farmer

What can we expect from a Liz Truss government? 

Under Boris Johnson’s leadership, the government made some important strides in animal welfare that enjoyed enormous popular support. It committed to introducing the Action Plan for Animal Welfare (APAW) which included ground-breaking measures to protect wild and farmed animals; it also promised to protect animal welfare standards in farming post-Brexit and its environmental plan put a focus on redirecting subsidies to pay for public goods including animal welfare.  

The Truss government is likely to be less sympathetic to animal welfare issues. As environment secretary, the Prime Minister planned to repeal official guidance on animal welfare standards that would deregulate the farming industry. As Secretary of State for International Trade she prioritised trade deals over animal welfare that will allow imports of meat, produced using farming practices that are illegal in the UK, to be sold to the British consumer.  

However, we were pleased that the Prime Minister has committed to pass the long-awaited Kept Animals Bill. The Bill will put an end to the cruel export of live animals for fattening and slaughter and the keeping of primates as pets, among other measures. The new Prime Minister must honour the government’s animal welfare commitments and introduce the Action Plan for Animal Welfare in full. The plan includes several key protections for animals. These are:  

  • A ban on the domestic sale and advertising of unacceptable wildlife practices abroad, such as elephant rides, where elephants are often subjected to repeated beatings with hooks or sticks to learn to submit.  
  • A ban on the importation of hunting trophies into the UK.  
  • A ban on the import and sale of fur and foie gras that would prevent millions of animals being exposed to barbaric ‘production methods.’  

What next? 

Meaningful change for animals must start with honouring the commitments already made by Boris Johnson’s government. 72% of the British public want the Government to pass more laws designed to improve animal welfare and protect animals from cruelty, so our current crises should not be used as an excuse to halt this agenda.

What the new Prime Minister means for animal welfare | World Animal Protection

Dropping promises made last year would be huge let-down for animals and people, says Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation

Mr Foie Gras and Fur – Rees Mogg.

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.

PMAF

The new prime minister will also reportedly ditch a ban on live animal exports in her first weeks in office.

Liz Truss ‘to scrap proposed bans on fur and foie gras imports’ | The Independent

The charity warns that the natural environment is under threat

“NOWHERE will be safe” if the Government goes ahead with plans for investment zones across the UK, a leading charity has warned.

RSPB England, which represents the views of the UK-wide bird charity, issued a scathing response to the proposals – warning that they could “tear up the most fundamental protections our remaining wildlife has”.

As part of his mini-budget, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced plans for the creation of dozens of low-tax, low-regulation investment zones.

‘Nowhere will be safe’: RSPB in scathing warning over Tory ‘attack on nature’ (yahoo.com)

‘We are angry’: green groups condemn Truss plans to scrap regulations

Nature protection rules in proposed investment zones would in effect be suspendedLiz Truss seems prepared to double down on her liberalisation agenda. Photograph: Maja Smiejkowska/Reuters There was little room for doubt about the reaction to the prime minister’s plans to scrap environmental regulations this weekend. “Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature,” tweeted the RSPB, its most forceful political intervention in recent memory.

Liz Truss’s proposals to create investment zones, where green rules on nature protection would in effect be suspended, represented a step too far for some of Britain’s biggest environment charities. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife is facing one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades,” the RSPB went on.

Swiftly after came the Wildlife Trust, representing another million members and also “incredibly angry … at the unprecedented attack on nature”, and the National Trust, with more than 5 million members.

‘We are angry’: green groups condemn Truss plans to scrap regulations | Environment | The Guardian

Regards Mark

Update 2027 hrs GMT 26/9/22

Senior Tory claims MPs are already writing letters of no confidence in Liz Truss

Some Conservative MPs have already submitted letters of no confidence in Liz Truss over fears the new prime minister will ‘crash the economy’, a former cabinet member has said.

The anonymous ex-minister reportedly told Sky News Ms Truss was ‘f*****’ following her disastrous handling of last week’s mini-budget, and suggested a number of Tory MPs were already plotting to bring her down.

UK: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable.

WAV Comment – I am sticking a bit with the issue of the new UK Prime Minister, Liz Truss, as although it is a matter of weeks since she was elected (by Conservative Party members only rather than the national majority) into the position of PM, we (the animal rights movement) are already at war with her for her attitude to changing policy in both animal rights and with environmental issues; much of which was originally promised as positive / progressive law changes in the last Conservative manifesto !

If she wants war, she is going to get it. Simple.

I think in the last few days alone we have seen the RSPB (for example) come out and declare that they are not happy.

With more time, I will try and check some other animal rights groups and publish here what they are saying.

The following ‘voices’ article by Jane sums up the situation and feeling of many in the AR movement.

Lets face it, Boris Johnson (despite other faults) was attempting to move forward with animal welfare improvements – putting them formally into national legislation (law).  The Conservatives currently have a fairly large majority of MP’s in Parliament, (that is why they are in government) over other parties.  It should be relatively easy for them to push through legislative actions relating to animal welfare and a host of other important issues – planning, disabled people legislation etc.

But it all kind of came tumbling down during the Covid crisis, and the failures of Johnson to act in stopping the Downing St ‘Partygate’ issues where Conservatives seemed to think they were different to ‘the ordinary people’ and could still get together for drinks whilst the law abiding citizens had to stay at home and could not even say goodbye to relatives dying of Covid in hospital.

Well, probably they are different to most normal people, and the removal of Boris by his own MP’s; and the subsequent election of Truss to the position of MP simply shows how ineffective Boris and the others in his cabinet had / were.  Boris did not address the issue from the very start; now he is out as a result and we are all blighted with a Truss led government.

By now taking on the animal rights movement, let alone pushing aside all the other issue in her in tray, she has already annoyed so many of the voting public.

WAV is not affiliated to any political party; we don’t ever want to be; we just attempt to tell what we know and hear, and then let you, our loyal supporters, take it further.

Personally though, I think with the current situation, the Tories have as much chance of winning the next General Election as a chocolate fireman becoming the firefighter of the year – rather remote I would say.

As Jane;s article below portrays, the Conservatives are in a perfect position to improve welfare and most importantly, do big moves to help improve the environment.  But they are not; Truss is ensuring that; with support from Foie Gras Rees Mogg and the rest of the anti environmental cabinet.

They want a war ? – they are gonna get it.  It almost makes you feel like standing at the next general election as an animal rights / environmental rights campaigner.  I think we are going to witness this feeling rising up all over the country.  Brits are big time animal welfare supporters, they are big environmental campaigners; and they detest what this government is now doing to put them down.  Lets see what the next few months brings.

Regards Mark

Photo – Mark

Phot – Mark – Be good or Mrs plod will have you !

Voices: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable

By Jane Dalton

The new prime minister, Liz Truss, has a funny relationship with animals. She says she’s a cat lover, but she has previously called for the return of foxhunting.

As a former environment secretary, she should be aware of animal sentience – the capacity non-humans have to feel emotion, pain and suffering. But as a Tory leadership candidate, Truss held up a vision of a neoliberal administration that she was convinced would appeal to the party faithful.

Now, as part of that single-minded deregulation mission, she looks set to embark on the greatest betrayal of people and animals anyone could ever have imagined. At a stroke, the new prime minister is reportedly set to arrogantly ditch reforms that would have eradicated the suffering of thousands of animals in the UK and abroad.

Party insiders believe she will axe the Kept Animals Bill, which bans primates as pets, tackles puppy smuggling and gives livestock greater protection from dangerous dogs. It also bans live exports.

Years ago, I joined protesters at Dover docks who were horrified by how sheep were crammed into lorries in the most appalling conditions, for hours on end, without water, only to be shipped abroad for slaughter. In 2019, at least 6,000 animals were exported this way – a monstrous toll of misery.

As outrage snowballed, even Boris Johnson spoke out against live exports. The ban was pretty much the only benefit of Brexit. Now it looks set to be sacrificed on the great altar of Truss free-market capitalism.

But it’s not just animals that will suffer. Some people have spent literally decades working to achieve the reforms in the bill, and to have that thrown back in their faces is more than frustrating – it’s offensive.

To make matters worse, the Kept Animals Bill was probably only days or weeks away from becoming law. The day it was due to be debated in parliament became that of the Queen’s funeral, and the chances of Truss reviving the bill seem remote.

Given that a live export ban was promised in both the Tory manifesto and the party’s grand animal welfare action plan, scrapping it is an enormous, symbolic breach of trust – and a disaster for progress.

Truss showed her colours in 2016 when she tried to dump statutory farm animal welfare codes. Her idea fizzled out, but now she has rewarded Mark Spencer, one of the MPs who this year blocked measures to halt elephant torture abroad, with a job in Defra. You couldn’t get much more farcical.

Then there are the foreign deals she negotiated as trade secretary that fund cruelty that would be illegal here. Instead of helping the UK to become more self-sufficient in food, she signed up to financing systems that use 48-hour transport, barren battery cages and sow stalls among other things.

Boris Johnson, together with Zac Goldsmith and before that Michael Gove, achieved more than any previous government for non-human creatures: introducing compulsory CCTV in slaughterhouses, increasing sentences for cruelty to five years and banning the ivory trade.

A lot remained to be done – especially after Jacob Rees-Mogg sabotaged bans on fur and foie gras – but credit at least where it’s due. It’s clear that sacking Lord Goldsmith, who was perhaps just too effective for the new PM’s liking, is a taste of what’s to come.

After all, even George Eustice, a former environment secretary not especially beloved of animal rights supporters, admitted he had difficulty in getting Truss “to recognise the importance of animal welfare in particular” in trade talks.

Hard-right Tories are ideologically opposed to banning things, but they fail to understand that often things are banned for good reasons. After all, we no longer send children up chimneys or let people carry guns in the UK.

In the current climate, however, the future for all sorts of animals looks bleak in Truss’s Britain. Campaigners for their welfare are counting the days until the general election in the hope of ousting this tin-eared leader. Three quarters of respondents in one survey wanted more laws to improve animal welfare and prevent cruelty, not fewer.

As Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International UK, puts it: “Animals are so important to the electorate, and will matter at the ballot box; [it is] mystifying if Downing Street fails to see that.”

It’s hard to believe Truss actually wants animals to suffer, but unless she pulls some surprises out of her hat, she’s doing an extremely good impression of it.

Regards Mark

Reproduced from ‘Voices’, The Independent newspaper, England.

Voices: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable (msn.com)

Below – me fighting the live animal export trade at Dover, England. 35+ years of this, to now have it thrown back in my face. Yes, insulting.

Brilliant – Latvia Bans Fur Farming !

Photo – Act 4 Wildlife.

Latvia bans fur farming

23 September 2022

On 22 September, Latvia’s Saeima passed the final amendments to the country’s Animal Protection Law. Farming animals for the main or sole purpose of fur production will now be prohibited, with the ban is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2028.

Over the last 10 years, the animal rights association Dzīvnieku brīvība has campaigned for the ban on fur farming, backed by 42,000 citizens and 50 NGOs, who have all signed an open letter to the Saeima.

The amendments regarding farming of animals for their fur were submitted to the Saeima on September 9, 2021 by 11 MPs from different political parties. Now the Saeima has adopted the amendments to the Animal Protection Law with an overwhelming majority of votes (70 for, 3 against).

Over the course of the year, the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee evaluated various proposals and supported the wording of the law, which prohibits the breeding of fur animals and stipulates that fur farmers will not receive financial compensation, subject to a 5-year transition period. 

Taking into account previous international cases, the members of the commission recognised this transition period as sufficient and adequate compensation for entrepreneurs, and that, in accordance with the principles of the rule of law, it would give fur farmers sufficient time to gradually end their activities and recover their investments. Accordingly, the ban will enter into force on January 1, 2028.

This is a historic moment for animal rights in Latvia – a huge victory for both animals and the people. By prohibiting the imprisoning and killing of animals for their fur, we, the people of Latvia, affirm our values and respect for animals as living beings. We show that, in our country, compassion and reason are more important than greed and ostentation. After all, our attitude towards the vulnerable – animals – is a mirror of our own humanity.

Katrīna Krīgere, Head of Dzīvnieku brīvība

Currently, at least 300,000 mink, as well as several hundred foxes and chinchillas, are killed for fur in Latvia every year. The number of fur farms operating in Latvia and the number of animals bred in them has been decreasing in recent years. For example, the total number of animals in Latvian fur farms in 2017 was 617,000, in 2020 – 580,000, and in 2022 – 274,000 animals.

Latvia has now become the latest EU member state to ban fur farming, joining Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and most recently Malta and Ireland. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe is calling for a ban of fur farming across the European Union, as well as a ban on the sale of farmed fur products. Do you support this ban? 

Add your name now.

Regards Mark