Animal matters

In this week’s post, I’ve had a local couple contact me about the Animals Matter to Me Campaign. It’s an international movement to support developing a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare. The draft Declaration recognises that animals are sentient beings and can suffer, commits signatories to respect animal welfare, and to work to end animal cruelty.

I’m happy to sign up to these aims, and not just as a non-meat-eating cat lover. After all, Liberal Democrat party policy is wholly in agreement with the aim of this campaign. Of course we believe that animal cruelty should be ended, and as a party we lead the way on animal welfare issues.  Lobby group PAD says “compared to the Conservatives and New Labour, the Lib Dems appear to have stronger and more detailed animal protection policies“.

Lib Dem policy is to give UK animal welfare issues a high priority by establishing an autonomous Animal Protection Commission. Such a Commission will bring all animal welfare related matters under the responsibility of a dedicated, expert body; it will be able to regulate or advise as appropriate, and will bring together issues that are spread across several departments at present, improving efficiency as well as raising the profile of animal welfare.

The Animals Matter to Me campaign is very focused on building a consensus for the declaration. So it talks about animal welfare, not animal rights; it acknowledges that we are part of an interdependent ecosystem where the humane use of animals can have major benefits for humans; instead of piling straight into the difficult areas of hunting, farming and vivisection. That may frustrate some, but it should give the campaign the best chance of success.

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1 Comment »

  1. Gosh said

    I have said it all along that animals feel pain – and something has to be done fast about cruelty to animals. It would be a good start if the government was to take this matter more seriously.

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