Progressing the cause of animal protection
Already in 2017 we’ve been working on a forthcoming new website that will explain our work more effectively, and helping to plan major international research and publishing projects on the blockages to improving animal protection.
A significant obstacle is the lack of government bodies dedicated to protecting animals – but we have some positive news on that front!
Our major proposal for a UK Government Animal Protection Commission has now gained cross-party momentum. The Conservative and Labour animal protection policy groups are now promoting this vital measure within their parties – it is already official policy in the Green and Liberal Democrat parties. Establishing this idea in the manifestos of the political parties is an essential step towards achieving this historic milestone for animals – find out how you can help here.
We are also delighted to announce that our PhD researcher at the University of Sheffield, Lucy Parry, has now successfully submitted her thesis and passed her oral exam (‘viva’) to gain her doctorate in animal protection politics. The CASJ is delighted to have supported the advancement of knowledge to help animals. We’d like to thank the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield and her supervisors Dr Alasdair Cochrane and Dr Hayley Stevenson. Lucy, who has now established herself as Britain’s leading expert on the foxhunting debate and has already published in peer-reviewed outlets, summarises her findings here.
Our work has also been featured in a forthcoming documentary about the ongoing ‘mad cow disease’ disaster. You can view a trailer here which includes some of my comments about how the lack of farmed animal welfare regulation harms animals at the same time as making another public health fiasco more likely.
Brexit represents a critical juncture in the history of farmed animal protection. While some ministers have said they want to try to improve standards, other commentators are expressing deep concern at the impact of future free trade deals with countries such as the USA with much weaker welfare rules, which could put pressure on the government to allow worse standards in this country to promote a competitive agricultural industry. It’s a fascinating debate with implications for billions of animals into the future.
It’s a topic that, naturally, we’re keeping a close eye on, and here are some of the interesting reports and perspectives I’ve come across:
And an article by Professor Anne Peters of the Max Planck Institute (which can be downloaded for free from here) provides an excellent basic understanding of the impact of international animal protection regulations (or the lack of them, particularly outside the EU).
(By the way, if you want to keep abreast of animal protection news, I recommend you follow me on Twitter.)
As you can see, the CASJ’s work is unique in focussing on the root causes of industrial-scale animal abuse. Please show your goodwill for animals by supporting our essential research and advocacy.
You can donate to us via our website, or you can text ‘CASJ11 £10’ (or any figure between £1 and £10) to 70070. Thank you!
With best wishes
Dr Dan Lyons
CEO, Centre for Animals and Social Justice
Cross-party momentum for government animal protection body
February 17, 2017
The Centre for Animals and Social Justice’s major proposal for a Government Animal Protection Commission has now gained cross-party momentum. The Conservative and Labour animal protection policy groups are now promoting this vital measure within their parties – it is already official policy in the Green and Liberal Democrat parties.
The need for a body to ensure animals’ interests are represented in government has been highlighted by the CASJ’s research into the government’s current reluctance to enact effective measures to protect animal welfare.
This indifference has been highlighted once again by the government’s recent rejection of MPs’ calls for a ban on third party sales on puppies and increased prison sentences for animal cruelty crimes. Another quietly devastating indictment of the state’s institutionalised disregard for animal welfare can be found in the Zoological Society’s response to a DEFRA consultation on the badger cull.
You can help by contacting your MP (if Labour or Conservative) to ask them to support their respective animal welfare group’s call for an Animal Protection Commission. Or you could contact your local constituency Conservative and/or Labour Party to urge support. Establishing this idea in the manifestos of the political parties is an essential step towards achieving this historic milestone for animals.
Why we need a government animal protection body
Industries that harm animals, such as intensive farming and animal experimentation, have come to dominate the UK government to the exclusion of animal protection and public opinion. This set-up is perpetuated by a government structure that prioritises ‘competitiveness’ and deregulation, including the various agencies and departments that sponsor the commercial interests of animal harm industries. Conversely, there are no laws or institutions to promote animal welfare protection and ensure it is a meaningful consideration for government.
Our research shows that this situation of institutionalised government bias against animal welfare is the fundamental reason for weak animal welfare laws, feeble enforcement and, consequently, levels of animal harm that go way beyond public acceptability. This also explains why current animal advocacy campaigns aimed at government are generally unsuccessful.
Therefore, establishing a governmental animal protection body is the key to a paradigm shift towards genuine respect for animals.
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