UK General Election: Party manifesto summary

What are the UK’s political parties saying about Born Free’s priority issues?

A propped up sign reading 'polling station' in front of a sandstone building

During this UK General Election campaign we have asked you, our supporters, to email your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates with seven key ‘asks’ for nature and the welfare of wild animals. 

The main Parties* have now all released their manifestos, so we have prepared a summary of each Party’s commitments on the issues we are focused on, below. 

Bear in mind that Parties do not always fulfil their manifesto commitments when they come into government. Conversely, there is nothing to stop a party in government taking actions which were not in their election manifestos. 

Please also note that this document is intended to provide information that voters might find helpful and does not in any way imply Born Free’s support for a particular political party or candidate. 

Where do the UK's political parties stand in their manifestos?

Conservative: The Conservative manifesto contains a commitment “…to leaving the environment in a better state for future generations.” They include commitments on tree planting, urban greening, and tackling international deforestation through legislation on procurement of forest products. They will designate an additional National Park and invest in improve existing National Parks and protected landscapes, while improving access to green spaces, particularly among disadvantaged children and young people. They also commit to cracking down on organised waste crime.

Green: The Greens will campaign to introduce a new Rights of Nature Act, an English Right to Roam Act to improve access to green spaces, and a new Clean Air Act. They will set aside 30% of our land and seas by 2030 in which nature will receive the highest priority and protection, and end all use of bee-killing pesticides. They will create a new Commission on Animal Protection, and triple financial support for farmers to support their transition to nature-friendly farming.

Labour: The Labour manifesto contains commitments to protect landscapes and wildlife, promote nature recovery, meet the targets in the Environment Act, build sustainable homes, and improve access to nature. They plan to establish nine new National River Walks and three new National Forests in England, expand nature-rich habitats such as wetlands, peat bogs and forests, and move towards a circular economy. They emphasise the need for coordinated global action to address the climate and nature crisis.

Liberal Democrat: In their manifesto, the Liberal Democrats say they will restore nature by setting binding targets to stop decline, and doubling the Protected Area Network, the most important wildlife habitats, and woodland cover by 2050. They will plant at least 60 million trees a year, pass a Clean Air Act enforced by a new Air Quality Agency, and increase funding for Government agencies responsible for nature and the environment. They will increase access to green spaces, explore a ‘right to roam’, and create a new designation of National Nature Parks. They will also pass an Environmental Rights Act, ensure the UK has the highest environmental standards in the world, and protect at least 30% of land and sea areas by 2030 for nature’s recovery. They also include commitments to hold business to account for their duty of care for the environment, create a nature-positive economy, and ensure nature-based solutions form a critical part of the strategy to tackle climate change.

Plaid Cymru: Plaid Cymru’s manifesto talks about ‘Fairness for our Planet’ through thinking beyond our current economic model, and introducing a Business, Human Rights and Environment Bill. It reaffirms their commitment to reach net zero targets in Wales by 2035 and reversing biodiversity decline by 2030. Under ‘Tackling the Nature Emergency’ they promote the development of a science-led plan to ensure that nature loss is reversed, and support the introduction of biodiversity targets, to halt biodiversity decline by 2030, and ensure substantive recovery by 2050.

Reform: In their ‘Contract With the People’, Reform states that productive land must be farmed, not used for solar farms or rewilding, and that current subsidies should be replaced with direct payments. They would stop Natural England from taking “action that damages farmers”. They claim that reducing man-made CO2 emissions to stop climate change won’t work, and suggest that we should adapt to warming, rather than pretending we can stop it.

Scottish National Party: In their manifesto, the SNP talk about building a ‘fairer, greener economy’ and emphasise their commitment to tackling the twin crises of climate change and nature loss’, and the need for Scotland to reach net zero emissions by 2045. They talk about the need for a fair and affordable transition to zero emission transport fuels, and strengthening incentives to purchase cleaner vehicles. 

Conservative: “We remain committed to banning the import of hunting trophies…” 

Green: No mention of hunting trophies. 

Labour: “We will ban… the import of hunting trophies.” 

Liberal Democrat: No mention of hunting trophies. 

Plaid Cymru: No mention of hunting trophies. 

Reform: No mention of hunting trophies. 

Scottish National Party: No mention of hunting trophies 

Conservative: “Conservatives will always seek to preserve and enhance the rural way of life. We will make no changes to the Hunting Act.” 

Green: “Green MPs will push for… A ban on all blood sports, including trail hunting.” 

Labour: “We will ban trail hunting…” 

Liberal Democrat: No mention of the Hunting Act. 

Plaid Cymru: No mention of the Hunting Act. 

Reform: “Protect country sports. These increase investment in the conservation of our environment. They boost rural jobs, communities and local economies.” 

Scottish National Party: No reference to the Hunting Act. 

No party has included any reference to the trade in and keeping of exotic pets in their manifesto. 

Conservative: The manifesto makes no direct mention of bovine TB control or badger culling 

Green: “To better protect animals and their habitats Green MPs will push for… an end to badger culling” 

Labour: “…we will work with farmers and scientists on measures to eradicate Bovine TB, protecting livelihoods, so that we can end the ineffective badger cull.” 

Liberal Democrat: “Ensure Britain continues to be a world leader in animal welfare and standards by… Developing safe, effective, humane, and evidence-based ways of controlling bovine tuberculosis, including by investing to produce workable vaccines.” 

Plaid Cymru:Plaid Cymru will introduce a broader approach to tackling bovine TB which includes controlling the disease in wildlife.” 

Reform: The manifesto makes no direct mention of bovine TB control or badger culling 

Scottish National Party: The manifesto makes no mention of bovine TB or badger culling. 

No party has included any reference to the keeping of animals in zoos in their manifesto. 

No party has included any reference to tackling the cruel treatment of animals overseas in their manifesto. 

The UK Houses of Parliament at sunrise

Want to make sure nature and wild animals are on the agenda?

Write to your local prospective parliamentary candidates today, and let them know which key issues involving nature and wild animals matter the most to you, and ask for their support this general election.

Write to Your Candidates