General Election – Animals don’t have a vote but they need a strong voice

Dear Friends of Wildlife

It hardly seems five minutes since the last time, but once again we find ourselves in the midst of UK General Election fever.

However, things are substantially different this time round. The referendum result almost a year ago changed everything. Brexit is dominating the headlines, threatening to drown out discussion of the NHS, social care, education, jobs, security and the domestic economy.

Wildlife protection hardly seems to be getting a look-in. But the election could profoundly impact the UK’s future policies on nature conservation, environmental management and animal welfare, in no small part because many of our current rules relating to nature and wildlife come from Brussels.

Prospective parliamentary candidates mustn’t be allowed to forget how important wildlife protection is to the vast majority of their prospective constituents. Our next government will be negotiating our exit from the European Union and deciding which European Directives and Regulations we should keep, and which we should throw out. The Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies, Europe’s nature directives, wildlife trade regulations, and many other pieces of European legislation, will no longer directly apply to the UK, and the consequences for our wildlife could be profound.

But Brexit also offers the UK an opportunity.

We like to pride ourselves as being a nation of animal lovers, and a country that leads the world on nature protection and environmental issues.

Now is the time for prospective parliamentary candidates from across the political spectrum to pledge their support for a Britain that not only accepts the need to maintain European safeguards for wildlife, but will set an example to the world by going above and beyond our current protections and put in place progressive policies aimed at halting and reversing wildlife declines and improving animal welfare.

To this end, my colleagues at Born Free and I have put together a set of election priorities for wildlife, which we are calling on all candidates and Parties to endorse. These include maintaining and improving on current EU regulations concerning nature and animal protection as we prepare to leave the EU; adopting a leading role in international efforts to tackle wildlife trafficking starting, with a UK ivory trade ban; improving protections for both native and captive wildlife against all forms of exploitation and abuse; and introducing nature education into the National Curriculum for all children.

It’s not for us as a charity to advocate or support any particular political party. But we are asking people who care about wild animals, captive or free-living, to demand that their prospective parliamentary candidates prioritise the protection of wildlife in their campaigns, and ensure these issues are given the highest priority if they are elected to Parliament.

Whatever the colour of the new Government on June 9th, we will continue to push for the highest level of protection for our wildlife, and the highest standards of welfare for all animals.

As Mahatma Ghandi rightly said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Never was this statement more relevant.

Blogging off

Will

One Response to “General Election – Animals don’t have a vote but they need a strong voice”

  1. Lorna Parsonage Says:

    Please support the Born a free Charity all any of us want is a world without crulety